Monday, June 27, 2016

DIY Crayons

Last week the kids and I decided to re-purpose some of the old crayons we have into "new" ones. By "the kids and I", I mostly mean me. I did the bulk of the wrapper-peeling, handled the oven, and cleaned up most of the mess!

The longest part of the process was getting all the paper wrappers off the old crayons. Some of them must have gotten hot at some point because a lot of the wrappers were totally stuck to the crayons, as though they had melted together.

Some of the crayons and wrappers from our project!

I decided to separate the crayons by color, but any shade of that color was fine. We had dark pink, light pink etc, in one pile, and so on. We used a mini muffin tin and it worked out great. You could get really creative with those silicone molds in different shapes. Lego molds would be fun! You could even use shapes that coordinate with a birthday party theme and give the crayons away as favors!

I let the three-year-old decide what colors to make the new crayons. It drove my older girls crazy that she was mixing colors! They tried to make a few that were all the same color, but the little one managed to sneak a different color into each of them!

Sorting the broken crayons into the muffin tins.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • Peel wrappers off crayons and break into thirds
  • Place broken crayons into mini muffin tins or silicone shaped molds
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until completely melted
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely, at least a couple of hours

Once cool, crayons should pop out easily. 

Just some of the cool color combinations we ended up with!

The most fun part for me was seeing all the different color combinations when we popped the new crayons out of the muffin tin. We had some that looked like cotton candy and some that looked like fire! This is a great project if you have a ton of broken crayons and don't want to just throw them away, or if you have a huge collection of different brands and restaurant crayons like we did!

Let me know if you try this project. I would love to see the color combos you end up with!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

I keep seeing pictures all over Pinterest and Instagram of different types of superfood breakfast bowls. Quinoa continues to pop up as a very popular base, so I figured I'd give it a go.

I will admit, I had never had quinoa until today - shock horror! Anyway, I looked up a few different recipes and sort of came up with my own hybrid recipe. Quinoa does have a strange texture and almost nutty flavor, but I really like it.


Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 14 oz milk (almond, coconut, cow's, soy etc)
  • Berries and/or fruit for topping
  • Sliced almonds or other nuts
  • Maple syrup (or honey, agave, etc)
  • Optional add on options; chia seeds, flax seeds etc

Directions

  • Combine quinoa and milk in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender and milk is absorbed
  • Place in a bowl with toppings of your choice
Leftover quinoa will keep in a sealed container for 3-4 days.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer and Beyond

Today is officially the first day of summer. Summer and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. I love the long days, no school, the smell of people grilling in their backyards, and the constant state of sun-kissed skin. I do not love the heat and humidity combination!

I am a teacher's aide, so obviously I look forward to the summer vacation. Don't get me wrong, I adore the kids and absolutely love my job, but it is exhausting. Between us, my husband and I have five children. He has twin daughters, I have a son and daughter, and we have a daughter together. 

Before I started working at the local elementary school, I stayed home for almost three years with our youngest. I know most stay-at-home parents count down the days for summer vacation to end so they can send their kids off to school again. Not me. I love not having to set an alarm every day, or make school lunches, or fight with my daughter about the school dress code and why she can't wear that spaghetti strap tank top. I love not having to worry about the kids getting their homework done, or having dinner finished and the kids bathed and in bed by a certain time. Mostly, I love spending the long days with them.
A group hug initiated my our youngest!
Don't get me wrong, they all drive me crazy! They fight with each other, whine, complain when I don't let them play with their electronics all day, and one of them is always hungry! 

Last week was the first week of my kids' summer vacation and the first week of our five weeks with the twins. It was a busy week as it was my daughter's 11th birthday. I allowed her to get the tips of her hair dyed red - she's only been asking for two years! She goes off to middle school after the summer so I wanted to do something special for her. She always works so hard and did so well all throughout her elementary school days, I felt she deserved it.

A before and after of the special birthday hair!
For her birthday, my daughter wanted a pool party and ice-cream sundae bar. He cousin is visiting from the other coast, which is nice because she was able to be here for her birthday.

Cousins at the birthday party.
Adorable photo booth props I found through Kristen Duke Photography
This summer we will be trying to grow a pineapple and some lychees, doing some fun experiments and crafts, and enjoying our downtime before the crazy school year starts back up again! Please follow along and let me know what you're doing this summer!