Monday, March 30, 2020

Crafts For Kids While Stuck At Home (Crafting with Kara)

My daughter has always been a creator.  She loves to design, draw, bake and make (Hmm, I wonder who she got that from 😄)  Several years ago when Kyle started his Cooking with Kyle series, she started her own series Crafting with Kara. 

One of her first crafts she shared on the blog was how to make was this tissue paper butterfly It is not that difficult to make, and you probably have all the supplies already at home.   During this spring instead, maybe bring a little bit of nature inside. 

If you kids like to play with clay, in this post she shows how to make an Angry Bird.  The blue penguin is not in the tutorial but for some reason in the picture.

Cardboard Tube Crafts, Cardboard Tube Flowers

Kara is actually semi famous for these Cardboard Tube Flowers.  She saw a picture of them in a magazine and then her tutorial was featured in an ebook about free crafts for kids. 

Another spring craft she shared was how to make a Flower Pot Nest

How to make a bunny craft out of extra large pipe cleaners

She made this bunny craft out of a giant pipe cleaner and a few basic crafts supplies. It might be a good one to try with it being almost Easter. 

This post is a little different than most.  Here she shows how she and her girl scout troop made Blankets for Cancer.

We still use this Patriotic Wreath every summer for Memorial Day and 4th of July.  Here a few more she made later. 

She made these Woodland Flowers, and Moss Crafts for her Woodland Themed Party

If you have paper you can make these Origami Wishing Stars

This pet memory box was made for a sad reason, but a fun idea if you have animals in the house. 

It's almost Earth Day, perfect for this Earth Day Necklace

close up of hanging rainbow flower

This rainbow flower is one of my favorite crafts she has made. It is also very timely since everyone is at home using a lot of toilet paper, and it is made out of cardboard tubes. 

A craft turkey made of styrofoam, feathers and toothpicks

I know it is not Thanksgiving, but one of her most ambitious crafts was this Turkey Tutorial.  I also remember that one of our cats was fascinated with it, and liked to lick the feathers.  LOL 

Hope you enjoy posts, and Happy Crafting!  

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Dare to Share #410

It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

This for sure has been an interesting week.   We are still waiting for my daughter's test results. It is day 9. Hopefully this weekend we will finally hear something.  We were told there is just such a huge number of tests that have to process that it is taking over a week or more.  It's day 10 of isolation and quarantine.  Our state went to shelter in place on Monday.  I also got the news that it is highly likely that we will not go back to school the rest of this school year.  I totally understand and agree it is for the greater, but I definitely miss all the friends I made there.   While home, I have been much more active on the blog again.  This week I came up with ideas for 20 new blog posts.  I am going to start blogging on a regular basis.  Until I feel well enough and can go out the store for groceries and supplies, I will be re-sharing a lot of recipes and crafts from the past.  I hope to add some new projects again real soon though.  

In case you missed them here are the posts I posted this week. 

It is time to get this party started.. Link up now! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Recipes for Kids (Cooking with Kyle)

Long time readers may remember a series I did a few years back called Cooking with Kyle.  My son was interested in cooking and came up with several kid friendly recipes and shared them on the blog.  Well Kyle is all grown up now, and in college.  He still likes to cook, and helps out making meals occasionally  on days I am working.  While we are sheltering in place, making lots of meals and trying to find things for our kids to do, I thought it would be the perfect time to share a roundup of our Cooking with Kyle recipes.  If you have a kid that wants to give cooking a try, here they are. 

This was his first recipe all the way back in early 2012. He came up with his own Chicken Salad recipe and added a healthy surprise.  He was so proud of himself, and I remember it tasting really good. 

His second recipe was also a big success.  His burritos had mushrooms, sausage, and cheese, but you can make them with whatever ingredients you have on hand. 

Kyle still loves turkey and cheese sandwiches, he just does not always take the time to grill them. 

Kyle with the ingredients needed for his Cooking with Kyle burritos

What can I say?  Kyle really likes Burritos.  In this recipe he made some for dinner.  

snack recipes, quick and easy meals, appetizers

In this post you get two recipes in one, and some silly pictures. 

This recipe was quick and easy and tasted really good. I am not sure if they still make Fresh Takes, but I am sure there is some there are similar breading kits out there. 

Look at that face! LOL!  He was smiling at the beginning of the recipe. We really liked these marinated pork chops, and it looks like it is about time to make them again.  

This time it was not a full meal, but a warm yummy snack. 

A quick and easy healthy meal.  

Don't have pizza rolls in the house? This recipe shows you how to make your own and they are DELICIOUS! 

Chocolate Strawberry Muffins, Cooking with Kyle

Another delicious recipe that we will need to make again soon. They really disappeared fast during the photo shoot. 

Homemade Potato Salad, Egg Potato Salad, Cooking with Kyle

A great side dish for the Cheesy BBQ Sliders below 

Shopping on a budget, Slider ingredients

These are really good, and kid size. 

Homemade Pizza with Cooking with Kyle

This recipe was not your usual pizza.  Kyle put a twist on it, so there was something for everyone. 

I hope you enjoyed this round up of Cooking with Kyle recipes.  Some of them we forgot about, so we need to try them again.   In the next few days I will also be doing a round up for Crafting with Kara posts for those kid crafters out there.  

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Monday, March 23, 2020

17 Things To Do While Sheltered In Place

Well today my state became one of the many states who has an order to stay home, and shelter in place for at least 3 weeks.  We have been expecting it, and I was already planning this post when we got to news. While you are spending so much time at home, here are 17 ideas you can do to pass the time. 

Try some new recipes  

Now is the perfect time to actually spend some time in the kitchen making meals for your family with many restaurants closed. Get the entire family involved. If the kids are old enough encourage them to try and make some recipes too.  Some of my families favorite recipes are Pepperoni Pizza CasseroleZucchini Spaghetti, and Pizza Pasta Salad

Make a Craft 

Hanging Rainbow Flower made from cardboard tubes

Since everyone is at home using toilet paper and paper towels, you probably have a lot of cardboard tubes on hand.  One of my favorite crafts that my daughter made was this Rainbow Flower. It was for an upcycle project when she was in the 6th grade.  I will be sharing many more crafts for kids ideas in the comings weeks.  Be sure to save those cardboard tubes! 

Tackle a Project 

Now is the perfect time to tackle that home project that you have been avoiding or not had time to do. Paint a room, clean the garage or basement, clean the windows etc.. 

Read Books, Start a Virtual Book Club 

I listed several resources where you can find free books online in my recent post Long List of Free Resources While You Self Isolate.  Find a few friends who also like to read and get together online for a book club on sites such as Zoom, Messenger, or Skype.

Learn something new 

I have been seeing several free classes you can take online, so now is the time to try new  things.  Here are just a few of what I have found. Art,  Fitness and WellnessCookingMore Cooking Photography and even the Weather.

Take Virtual Tours

Many places closed to the public such as museums, zoos and even Disneyland are offering free virtual tours. I posted several links on the free resource post here.  Want to see something not on the list, do a search on You Tube and see what other virtual tours might be offered. 

Stay Connected with Friends 

Now is the perfect time to check in on friends and family since almost everyone is home. Make that phone call, Facetime, Skype, Zoom, and even Netflix Party.

Organize your Space 

Now is the time to clean your closets, tackle old paperwork, and declutter. You can find a lot inspiration on Facebook, and YouTube. 

Train/Play with your pets 

Remember the puppy I mentioned a few weeks ago. She is now almost 3 months old and learning all kinds of new things.  She is very happy about the shut down. 

Yard work 

While it is not quite warm enough to do much yet where I live, you are allowed to be outside as long as you are social distancing. Now might be a good time to catch up on projects outside your home too.  Since the kids are home from school, you will have some extra hands. 

Catch up on your favorite shows and movies

Personally I save a lot of shows to watch later, and I don't always get around to doing it.  With streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+, now is the time to binge watch  and catch up without the guilt.  

Journal about your experience 

I saw something on Facebook recently suggesting having the kids journal what they are experiencing right now. I thought that was a great idea and I have started doing this myself too.  We are going through something that we have not seen before, and some day will can share our stories with future 

Have a family party or date 

One of my memorable anniversaries was the year when my kids were little, and we did not have a sitter.  We dressed up, I cooked something special,  and then the two of us ate a romantic dinner by ourselves together at the kitchen table.  Not only do I remember it years later, it saved a lot of money.  If you want to get the kids involved make it a theme night. I have several party ideas that I will be sharing soon that you can do at home as a family. 

Have a spa day 

Now you will have time to enjoy a bubble bath.  Take the time to have manicures and pedicures with your kids.  Spend some time pampering yourself that you normally don't get to do with a busy schedule. 

Play/Game Nights

Spend time as a family doing puzzles, playing games in person and virtually.  I recently heard there is a Hogwarts Virtual Escape Room that you can do online. I have always wanted to do a real Escape Room, I just wish I knew about Harry Potter to try this one. 

Go Through Pictures 

Remember back before all of our pictures were taken digitally?   Bring out that box of pics from the back of the closet and put them in albums. If you used to scrapbook but did not have the time to keep up, now you do. (I am guilty of this one!) 

Be Creative 

Think outside of the box! I recently saw this amazing YouTube Video of family who make a Homemade Pirates of the Caribbean Ride. Not only did they make fantastic memories, they had a lot of fun as a family and made the best of not so fun circumstances. 

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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Dare to Share #409

It's Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

I hope everyone is doing well.  I know with everything going on with the world right now, it's a challenging time for all.  This has been an interesting week for my and my children.  My daughter started showing symptoms a couple of days ago, and because she has other health concerns the hospital felt she should be tested.  I am also having very mild symptoms, but considered low risk so I was not. We are currently waiting for the results. Until we know for sure if she has it or not,  we are self quarantined.  The days are starting to blend together, and honestly I forgot it was Friday until a couple of hours ago.  With all the extra time on my hands, I am starting to blog again.  I am definitely getting a lot of rest, and will hopefully also get a few projects done around the house.   I am on temporary lay off from my work because all the schools in my state are closed at least for 2 more weeks.  We will have to wait and see if they stay closed  longer than that.   Yesterday I put together a list of online activities that you can do with your kids while they are home.  My kids are old enough that I don't have to home school them at this time, but if I did I would definitely have used some of the resources on the list.  I have already starting finding more, so there might be a second list in a couple of days. 

If you are interested in reading the list that includes reading resources, art, and virtual field trips, you can find it here

It is time to get this party started. 

Link up and have fun! (well as much as you can have during this time) 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Long List of Free Resources While Self Isolating

Life has really changed for all of us in just a few days.  We are spending a lot of time at home social distancing and self isolating.  I am currently not working because all of the school districts in my state are closed for a least a few weeks, maybe more. One of my children is having some symptoms, so we are also currently self isolating just in case. 

While we are home, I am finding that I have a lot of time to spend on the internet and Facebook.  The teacher in me realized that I have come across a long list of resources that will be helpful for those families with kids at home who are home schooling.  When my kids were younger, getting three children (one with Aspergers) to do their homework on a nightly basis was a struggle.  Now that they are older, I do not need to worry about homework anymore, but I know they would have loved to do some of the things that I am going to share in this post.  

Do you have a child who loves art like mine?   

Here are a few sites to check out 

Free Coloring Pages from 113 Museums. They can learn about art history and make art at the same time. 

Draw with Mo Willems. Each weekday he will be sharing lunch time doodles with kids. (and adults like me who think they are a kid ;)) 

1000 Free Disney Coloring pages from The Farm Girl Gabs

Interested in Virtual Field Trips? 

You are in luck if you like to explore.  There are so many options online right now allowing you to take virtual field trips. 

There are several interesting places you can "see" on

20 more places are available on  Adventures in Familyhood

Visit US National Parks on Tech Crunch

My favorite resource (and one I am going to do myself) is virtually visit Disneyland, and ride the rides on

Want to see some nature and do something with science? The National Aquarium is live streaming. 

If you love animals, the Cincinnati Zoo will be featuring a different animal every weekday at 3 PM. 

Have a child who loves to read?  Here are connections to an endless resource of books.

You can currently download over 300,000 books from the New York Public Library

2 Free months of Amazon Kindle Unlimited, endless books, audiobooks and magazines to keep your children reading. 

Interested in Space? NASA currently has their Entire Media Library publicly accessible and copyright free. 

I have not forgot the grown ups and down time. There are some resources for us grownups to use during this trying time too.  

Hallmark Channel  is starting a Christmas movie marathon starting tomorrow since we all need a little cheer. 

Netflix has a new option called Netflix party that allows you to have virtual movie nights with friends.  It is a Google extension that allows you to watch and chat with others. 

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Sunday, March 15, 2020

Update on this week's party

You may have noticed that there was no party this week. Honestly, it was not intentional, I have been pretty busy the last few days, and was not on the computer.  As you know many states have taken some really big measures the last few days to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus.  My own state included.  I found out late Thursday night that my job is put on hold for at least 3 weeks, maybe more.  As a single mom who depends on her working income, there has been a lot going on in my household to prepare for a possible lock down and what to do in the weeks ahead.  I have been lucky enough to find enough groceries, water and TP to last at least a week or two.   Many stores in my area/state  were wiped out, and are still out of many supplies people need.    While the unknown of what is going to happen is a bit scary, there are still a lot of positives that are happening.  At the moment, myself and my children are still in good health.  I do have a lot of projects that I will have time to finish, since I am usually too bus to do them while I am working.  I will have quality time with my kids are we are able to slow down, make meals and spend time together.  I may even have time to write some new blog posts. 

 I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe.  Look forward to Dare to Share party soon!  

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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Dare to Share #408

It is Saturday, so you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

Is this year flying about for your too?  How is it already part way through March.  Wasn't New Years Eve just a few weeks ago?  You can definitely tell it is March where we live, because we are having winter whiplash again.   Yesterday it was in the 20s and snowing, today it is almost 60! I don't know about you, but I am going to go out and enjoy this springlike day.  

Before that though, I am going to get this party started 

Link up and Have Fun! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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