Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Todays recipe is going old school...Corn Dogs. I have never been a big hot dog fan, but I remember always liking the corn dog lunch at school. When I saw this recipe,I thought I'd give it a try with the kids I nanny for.

The reviews from the kids were mixed (2 LOVED them, 2 ate out the hot dogs), but I thought they were pretty good. I did use a boxed mix (I really like the Trader Joes cornbread mix) for this recipe. I also just cut up regular size hot dogs rather than buying minis. I would highly suggest doing all the corn dogs in the mini muffin tin. I did the last few in regular muffin tins and they didn't bake as well (outside was done, middle was gooey). Go ahead and try them out before you send the kids back to school (or just try them for yourself:).


Monday, August 13, 2012

Made it Monday: Barnwood Art

You know me...I love a good thrifty find, so when my brother asked me if I wanted any free (yes, I said free) old barnwood, I jumped at the chance. All I had to do was go with him to help pick it out. So I got myself a few boards with ideas floating through my head.

I had seen a few things on pinterest that I wanted to make with barnwood, like this and this and this. After thinking on it for a while, I finally decided to use part of the chorus from one of my favorite songs.

Here is how I made it...

After I recovered my barnwood that I stored at my parents, I was just going to cut it down to size. But then I got to thinking...this wood has been outside, at a farm, for a long time. Which means bugs could be living in it. I consulted with my wise, old dad about my options...he said I could either bake the wood to get bugs out or use some paint thinner (paint it on the wood). I opted for the paint thinner. So I brushed it down with a wire brush, blew off all the gunk with an air compressor, and painted it with paint thinner.

Once the paint thinner dried I cut the wood down to size. Then I pieced them together (they fit together perfectly since each peice had a groove on top and lip on bottom). They just needed a little reinforcement to help them to stay together, so my dad and I added some scrap thin strips of wood along the back and nailed them on.

Once I got back to my place with the assembled piece, I broke out the cricut to make some stencils. I cut my lyrics out of vinyl and stuck the stencil onto the wood.

I used some cream paint that I had on hand to paint on the lyrics. Once it was dry, I removed the vinyl and nailed a good old pop tab to the back so I could hang it on the wall. That made the total project cost...FREE!

I hung it in my spare room above the bed. Yes, the picture is off center, but I just hung it on an existing nail. I'll get around to fixing that soon.

Also, check out For King and Country, their song Proof of Your Love is where these lyrics came from. This band has some great music! Here is a link to the song.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thrifty Thursday:Summer Boredom Busters

Can you believe we are already a week into August? Where did the summer go? Chances are, if you have kids, or if you nanny like myself, the kiddos are getting a little antsy. Today, I'll share with you a few things that I have done with the kids throughout the summer that have helped keep the kids busy, active, and best of all, not saying "I'm bored!" These activities are either free or very inexpensive.

-Sidewalk paint-
1 cup water
1 cup corn starch
Mix, divide into muffin tin, and add food coloring to each cup. Give the kids a paintbrush and let them go to town!

In the beginning of the summer we did this a ton and the kids loved it!! In the end they would start painting themselves, but the great part about summer is you can throw on their swimsuits and hose them off when it is all over!

-Frozen Toys/Archeological Dig-
Grab a zip lock bag and plastic toys. Fill the zip lock with water, toss in the toys, and freeze the bag overnight. The next day, give the kids some "tools" so they can extract their toys. My nanny kids started off with toy hammers and such and moved on to just chucking them at the driveway. Just be careful with what toys you put in the bag. We did loose a couple when they hit the driveway. For extra fun, add a few drops of food coloring to the water.

-Bike Wash-
Gather up all the bikes, wagons, toy cars, etc... Give the kids a bucket of soapy water, a sponge, and a hose and let them have at the "vehicles".

-Shaving Cream and Cereal Toss-
Grab a shower cap (ours came from a hotel that they stayed at on vacation), place it on one child's head, and spray shaving cream all over the top. Have one person stand back a little ways and toss cereal (ours was stale-you can use anything for this really) into the shaving cream on the other persons head.

-Sponge Balls-
Either gather up some used sponges or buy some new. Cut them into strips and tie the stips together with some yarn. Dip them in water and throw them at each other. No more filling up water balloons for an hour!

-Make a Stuffie (Stuffed Animal)-
This is a great way to use up your old fabric! Grab some scaps and cut out an animal or doll shape. Pin wrong sides together and sew around the edge leaving a hole to turn fabric right side out and stuff. Our stuffies turned out rather interesting, but that is ok. The kids still liked them.

On a side note, we did make sidewalk chalk too, but I don't think it's worth the hassel. The kids prefer boughten chalk because it is easier to write/draw with. Plus, even though we tried to color the chalk, it all pretty much writes in white. Here is how ours turned out:


Hope these projects help curb the boredom of the final days of summer!