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Seaweed Art Cards
  • This one of those recipes that is fun to experiment with. I’ve made it a few different ways with various dried fruits and nuts. One ingredient I recommend that you not improvise with is the brown rice syrup. When I could not find it at my usual market, I substituted agave syrup. Although it tasted great, it didn’t bind well and the bars were more like clumps. Don’t skimp on this item. Purchase the brown rice syrup online if necessary. To get the recipe, click on the article I wrote for Parent Society.

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  • Materials:

    • Heart-shaped baking tin
    • Plastic bowl or container that is wider than your baking tin and about 2″ deep.
    • One cup sand
    • One-half cup water
    • Candle wick
    • Small metal washer
    • Wax
    • Candle dyes or crayons for color
    • Candle scent (optional)
    • Double boiler (Note: You can melt wax in the microwave or in a tin can in a shallow pan of water over low heat. Add color and scent after wax is melted.)
    • Newspaper
    • Scissors

    Fill bowl with sand and water. Press bottom of heart tin into wet sand.  Pull out leaving a heart shape. If the sides fall in, press tin in again and add some more water to sand. Tie wick to washer and place in center of the sand-shaped heart. Tie other end of wick onto a pencil and set on top of container. Make sure wick is taut. Pour melted wax into the heart-shaped hole in the sand. Position wick so it is in the center. Let wax harden and cool, about 45 minutes. Carefully lift heart candle from container and place on newspapers. Trim wick with scissors.

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  • cookies in a jarAs ubiquitous as they may seem to some in their quaint, kitschy way, who  can’t resist  homemade cookies? And if you can make the planning and preparation that much easier, you’ve got the perfect gift. Here are some suggestions for those layered cookies in a jar you can pass out to all your friends, relatives and kid’s teachers. Put all ingredients in a Mason jar decorated with some nice fabric, ribbon and a tag with recipe and baking instructions.

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix Read the rest of this entry »

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  • The Fresh Air Fund is still in need of  host families for this summer. If you could help get the word out it would really help us place these wonderful children into a loving host family for up to two weeks of a fresh air experience they will never forget. If you would like to host a child in your home this summer that allows him or her to have an unforgettable experience you can sign up to host a child or donate to the Fresh Air Fund. To learn more about what you can do to help the Fresh Air Fund click here. Spread the word.

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  • naturally dyes Easter eggs

    Instead of using the store bought variety of Easter Egg dyes, which are usually just food coloring mixed with vinegar, here are some suggestions for all natural ingredients that work just as well.

    • Brown–outer layers of an onion, coffee or tea
    • Green– spinach or dandelion leaves
    • Orange– ground turmeric, celery seed and or orange peels
    • Blue– crushed blueberries
    • Red– crushed cranberries or raspberries
    • Pink– chopped rhubarb or beet juice

    Place eggs in sauce pan with enough water to cover them, add your “dye” and 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Cook your eggs and color them at the same time. How efficient!

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  • This past weekend, my girls and made our favorite spring time treat: “bird nests.” Over the years we’ve come up with different variations and since we couldn’t decide which one we liked best, we made all three.

    Bird nest #1

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup milk chocolate chips, melted
    • 1 cup shredded coconut
    • Jelly beans

    bird nests made out of chocolateMelt chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the coconut. Cover a cookie sheet with waxed or parchment paper. Drop by large clumps, a heaping tablespoon, onto the cookie sheet and shape into nests. While the mixture is still warm, use your thumb or the back of a spoon to poke a small impression. Then fill it with jelly bean “eggs.”

    Birds nest #2

    Same as above, but instead of using coconut, mix in 1 cup of chow mein noodles.

    Birds nest #3

    Ingredients:

    • 20 marshmallows
    • 2 T of butter
    • 1 T light brown sugar
    • 1/2  tsp. of ground cinnamon
    • 3 cups toasted oat and nut cluster cereal
    • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
    • Jelly beans, Peanut M & M’s, (in pastel colors) or Whoppers Robin Eggs

    bird nests made out of marshmallowMelt the marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Fold in cereal and coconut. Drop by clumps onto waxed paper lined cookie sheets. Fashion into the shape of nests and add the “egg” of your choice. Another variation of this recipe is to add equal parts cereal and chow mein noodles for more crunch.

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  • One of the best ways to help wildlife flourish is to plant a special garden with nectar-rich flowers that will attract bees, butterflies and insects. If you don’t have a lot of room, a window garden or pot garden will do.

    The following is a list of flower suggestions.

    • Lace-cap hydrangea has lots of tiny flowers that attract bees and butterflies.
    • Lavender  has a strong scent that butterflies love.
    • Hawthorn is a shrub that attracts insects and birds.
    • Pyracantha is another shrub with berries that birds like to eat.
    • Fuchsia with its sweet nectar attracts hummingbirds.
    • Buddleia often called the butterfly bush has scented flowers that attract both bees and butterflies.

    For more suggestions ask the salespeople at your local gardening shop

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  • In anticipation of Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, I will be featuring Earth Awareness Activities every day until then. These are great projects to do with children at home or at school that help raise awareness about our most prescious resources– the air, the water, the land and our children.

    How Dirty is Your Air?

    Materials:

    • Seven glass- jar lids or bottle caps
    • Large piece of white cardboard
    • Marking pen
    • Labels

    Write numbers one to seven on the cardboard. Leave enough space to be able to cover each number with a lid. Stick labels onto the jar lids and number them from one to seven. Lay the jar lids on the cardboard, matching the numbers. Put the cardboard and lids outside in a sheltered spot. At the end of the first day, take away lid number one. Each day take away one more lid. At the end of a week, take away the last lid. You can see how dirty the air is if the patches where the first lids were are darker than the others.

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  • If you are in the market for promotional items to promote your business, you might want to consider purchasing them online at Go Promos.com. All those really cool items you see at trade shows like a custom notepad with your company’s name and logo on it are available here. There’s even a pens blog with information on how to collect Mont Blanc pens.

    I’m mentioning this because many business owners who purchase promotional items for their companies don’t realize how much their kids identify with having some swag of their own. And, they make great birthday party favors too. BTW, SWAG stands for Something We All Get. My kids love it.

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  • Yes. Silver Sky Imports, an online source for Tibetan singing bowls, offers a variety of styles. For instance, there are crystal singing bowls, and ceramic singing bowls. These bowls are all handcrafted in Tibet or Nepal and because of the variation in the bowl construction,  each has a unique sound and tone.

    What a great opportunity  to teach your children about the basic fundamentals of sound and music. It is a welcome respite from the chaotic noise in our world to peacefully relax and learn to play the singing bowls.

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