Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine S'mores Teacher Gifts

I had fun making up some little Valentine S'mores treat bags to give my sons' teachers as gifts for Valentine's Day. The printable tags are from Tricia Rennea. I saw them featured on another blog and that is what gave me the idea to make them. I hadn't made marshmallows from scratch for a while so I used THIS RECIPE from Family Fun and made little heart shaped vanilla marshmallows. I dipped them in red sugar and I think they turned out pretty cute. I am sure that marshmallows are easier to make if you have a stand mixer (they have to be mixed for 12 minutes), but I only have a hand mixer and was able to make them without falling over from exhaustion. So don't be deterred from trying this even if you only have a little-ol' hand held like me. Someday I hope to graduate to a "big-girl" mixer, but they are quite pricey, so it may be a while before that happens. I guess I should have registered for one for my wedding.......17 years ago. Anyway............these were fun to make. You could probably still whip some up to give this year, or bookmark the idea for next year. Everyone who received these thought they were very cute. (And obviously, you could do it without making the marshmallows from scratch. Sometimes I just get a "Martha" moment and have to go all out.) :-)

I packaged the marshmallows in a separate treat bag and closed the top with some pink and red paperclips that I had in my stash.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kiss Kiss Hug

This project has been all over the blogosphere and I don't even remember where I first saw it. Anyway, yesterday I quickly whipped up this little XXO display for my baker's rack. I don't have a lot of Valentine's decor and thought these would be quick and easy to make. I think I would like these a little better if the frames were white, but it is WAY too cold here in the midwest to spray paint right now. Besides, the Target Dollar Spot has a set of 3 little square silver frames for $2.50. Can't beat that! (Well, actually you COULD beat that at a garage sale or the right thrift store......) I just removed the little papers in the frames and replaced them with scrapbook paper in Valentine colors. I wanted to take out the glass, but it was not removable. So........I just glued the glass marble chips (found at a garage sale this summer) right on top of the glass. I used Elmer's white glue and it worked fine. You could do this for almost any season. I've seen many variations on different blogs. I literally did these while talking to Amber on the phone. They were so easy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More vehicle valentines

If you read my last post, you already know that my little boy made race car valentines to pass out at school. This weekend I helped my oldest boy make some candy airplane valentines for his class. I used a printable banner from Giver's Log and tied it to the end of the airplane. He signed his name on the back. For the airplanes, you use Smarties candy for the body, a piece of gum for the wings and Lifesaver's candy for the wheels. Everything is held together with a rubber band. CLICK HERE for the instructions from Family Fun.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chicken in the bathroom (again)

Today I did something that I have never done in almost 41 years of living. I took a chicken to the vet. Why? This morning when I went outside to open the chicken coop, I found our favorite little chicken, Sarah, stuck to the wire netting on the chicken ramp. She had most likely been stuck there all night long with her toes caught in the wire and her leg pulled out behind her body. When I unhooked her the leg was completely stiff, cold and deformed looking. I was beside myself. When I shut the chickens in for the night yesterday, she must have just been getting ready to jump off the bottom of the ramp when I closed it. I don't usually open the coop and look in after I close the ramp, so I didn't realize her foot was stuck. I sobbed when I went inside to tell my husband what had happened because I felt responsible for her injury. Unfortunately, we both had to get out the door, DH to take my oldest son to school, and I to get to work. Luckily, my husband's schedule allowed him to come home and bring Sarah inside around noon. He held her for a long time and warmed her up. Gradually he was able to reposition her foot and leg so they looked more normal. He set up our "brooder box" in the bathroom to keep her in. When I got home I called the vet and they suggested we bring her in. So my little guy and I loaded up the chicken in her box and headed to the vet. Luckily, she did not break any bones. She also seems to still have some intact nerves in that leg. The vet is worried about her circulation, however, and gave her a steroid shot. The wounded leg is very swollen and is still colder than the other leg. Hopefully the steroid will reduce inflammation and that, perhaps, will get her circulation going again. For now, she is living a life of luxury in our bathroom. It is about 69 degrees in our house as compared to less than 20 degrees for the other four chickens out in the coop. She may decide she wants to be a house chicken from now on. We are certainly babying her a lot. Within a week we will probably know whether or not her leg will recover. I will be sure to keep you all updated. Below you can see her in her luxury suite. She is sticking her wing out to help keep her balance. I truly hope she recovers with no long-term damage. She has always been our most inquisitive and out-going chicken. She certainly has the pluck and stamina to come through this ordeal unscathed.

Monday, February 1, 2010

VRRROOOM!!! Valentine Race Car cards

This afternoon my little boy and I made his valentines for his preschool valentine exchange next week. I LOVE to make valentines "from scratch" instead of buying them in a box. Don't get me wrong.........I've definitely bought boxed valentines in the past and no children were harmed by it. However, if I have the time and a great idea ("borrowed from another creative person. of course) I love to make homemade ones. A great resource for ideas is Family Fun.....both the magazine and the website. For my race car-lovin' boy, I found THIS IDEA and thought it was perfect. I decided to skip the (very expensive and hard-to-find) chocolate cars...........although they are very cute.............and used some great little race car stickers that I found at a card outlet store. We picked out a little truck from our HUGE stash of toy cars and rolled the wheels in black paint. Then my son rolled the truck back and forth across a piece of red cardstock. He was so proud of himself and kept saying, "I can do this all by myself, Mommy. You don't need to help me." Which was true. I put a piece of waxed paper under the cardstock and he was totally independent.

I used some large (2X3 inch) white shipping labels to print out the message, "You make my heart race!!" I printed 2 messages per label, then cut the labels in half and used my scrapbooking corner rounder to round the cut corners. On the back we attached a little return address label that I had printed with "Happy Valentine's Day!" and my son wrote his name on the back of all the cards. They turned out so cute and I know he will be proud to share them with his friends.