Glow in the Dark Easter Eggs

You may have already seen this idea over on Lil Luna but my family had so much fun doing it, I had to post. Plus it is really fun to take glow in the dark pictures. The concept is simple, glow sticks + plastic Easter eggs = Glow in the Dark Easter Eggs!


Dollar tree had glowsticks 15 for $1. We already had some plastic eggs from last year. Talk about a fun and inexpensive family activity. We had to tape some of the eggs shut, and others were just fine on their own. I think it depends on the kind of egg.


After we hid them outside once we brought them inside and the kids hid them all over the living room for themselves. My daughter shoved a whole bunch of eggs in the microwave on the toy kitchen. It looked to my like a "anti-microwave" ad. "This is what happens to your food when you use the microwave or something." It was too funny.



When I was cracking the sticks to put in the eggs, I got a little over zealous and broke the glow stick. It shot all over my face, hair, the couch, the blinds, and even through the blinds to the window. Once we determined there would not be any permanent damage to anyone or anything it was pretty hilarious! My couch glowed in the dark all night long!

Well I am off to my Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Cupcake Party. I can't wait to tell you about that. I have some strong opinions about all the different flavors.
Have a great weekend!

Friday Rewind: Upcycled Easter Baskets

I recently compiled a list of Easter projects that I made last year and there are a lot! I can't believe there is only one week left until Easter. This year is just flying by. So let's get to it, I mod-podged old ice cream buckets and turned them into Easter baskets for my kids. I had planned to do this for about a week and then I got a call that the family easter egg hunt and been pushed up and I only had about 3 hours to get everything I wanted to do done. This craft is quick and practical, I love it.
I used Fabric but you could easily use paper if that is what you have on hand. My directions will refer to how to do this project with fabric.

Supplies:
Clean and empty Ice Cream bucket with a handle
Mod Podge
Fabric
Hot Glue Gun
Ribbon/Trim optional

Steps:
  1. Measure the height of your ice cream bucket. The two I used were 4 inches and 6 inches. Cut a strip of fabric 1 inch taller than the height of your basket. That way you can fold over the raw edges. You could also use ribbon to cover any raw edges and skip the extra length.
  2. Apply Mod Podge to the bucket in small increments, about 2-3" at a time. Avoid putting Mod Podge about 1/2" from the bottom. You will be gluing the bottom later.
  3. Fold over the top of the fabric 1/2" and place it flush against the top lip of the bucket. Smooth the material out as you lay it down. I pushed any air bubbles towards the side and bottom.
  4. Make your way all the way around the bucket applying Mod Podge, folding down the fabric 1/2", and smoothing down the material.
  5. When you get all the way around, cut your fabric so that it overlaps slightly and gives you 1/2" to fold under the raw edges.
  6. Now to take care of the bottom edge. Fold the raw edge of the material under and secure it to the bucket with hot glue. It might not look perfect right now, but once you add some embellishments, they will cover any imperfections.
  7. Apply 1-2 top coats of Mod Podge to the material. I used glitter Mod Podge. I love the effect.
  8. When the Mod Podge has dried, apply any trim or ribbon that you like. Between the five different baskets I made, I used ric-rac, ruffle trim, and this yellow flower felt "ribbon."
I loved this project, for several reasons.
  1. I think they are pretty darn cute!
  2. I had almost everything on hand. I did purchase the Easter fabric but that was it. I loved that I got to do a little stash busting as well as recycling.
  3. I got to have a discussion with my kids about recycling. We recycle everyday but I don't often stop to explain why it is important. It was fun show them how an old ice cream bucket was now a cool Easter basket.
I made three baskets for our family Easter egg hunt then came back and made two more so I could get some process pictures.
I upped the ante on my daughters outfit took some of the leftover material and appliqued it onto a shirt I got at the thrift store. She looked so cute and I kind of loved that she matched her Easter basket.

  
 
Now here's the 2012 update. My kids have been using their Easter baskets all year long to carry and store their toys. They really love them. The handles are detachable and so they have lost the handles over the course of the year. Thankfully I have a few more ice cream buckets in storage so I can pull those handles off. We have our first easter egg hunt of the season tomorrow, and I can't wait!

Friends of Pfister: Rebuilding Together

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pfister for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
We are surrounded by opportunities to help those less fortunate than us on a daily basis. Sometimes this means opening our wallets, serving with our hands, or taking some kind of action. Today you have the opportunity to help a great organization called Rebuilding Together with just a few mouse clicks. It can't get any less complicated than that. I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself though. Let me tell you a little about Rebuilding Together.
Rebuilding together is a national nonprofit organization that provides home repairs and improvements to low-income homeowners. Over the last 30 years, Rebuilding Together has completed work on more than 100,000 homes and 3.4 million volunteers have delivered over $1.3 billion in market value. That is fantastic.
Whitney 2
Enter Pfister. I am sure you have heard of them. They are the leader in making innovative plumbing fixtures and other related products. You quite possibly have Pfister fixtures in your bathroom or kitchen. Well Pfister has agreed to donate $1 to Rebuilding Together for every "Like" the official Pfister Facebook page receives, up to $20,000. Easy peasy.
No need to worry if you don't have a Facebook account. You can still help! All you need to do is go to the Friends of Pfister campaign site and click on the link that says, "Don't have Facebook? You can still help here." You can enter your name and email address and that will trigger a $1 donation as well.
I just checked and the current donation is at about $8,500. There is still a long way to go to $20,000. Please don't rely on your friend or neighbor to do. Take a minute and help out.
Thanks!
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Zucchini Round-up

I mentioned the other day how much I love zucchini from the garden! My recipe isn't quite ready to share so I am going to share with you some zucchini recipes that look delicious.

Zucchini Bread by Brooklyn Galley:


Vegetable Tian by For The Love Of Cooking:

Zucchini Cakes by Life's Ambrosia :


Baked Zucchini  Fries by Fun and Food Cafe:

Grilled Zucchini Pizza by Kalyn's Kitchen

I have made those zucchini cakes before and I thought they were mighty tasty! I am hoping to get my picky eater to go for the zucchini pizza. It is worth a try for sure.

Do you have any favorite zucchini or garden vegetable recipes? Leave a link in the comments, if you have one. I would love to add to my recipe box with some nice garden fresh recipes!

April Fools Tricked out Treats

April fools day is this Sunday. Do you need some fun food ideas to trick your family with? All this week Dash Recipes is hosting 7 days of tricked out treats. I am so excited because yours truly is Day #1. My Rice Krispies Ice cream cones are being featured today. I just had to take a screen shot. It might be the only time my name is mentioned on the same page as PARADE, epicurious, and bon appetit!


They are posting one recipe a day, but you can see the line-up for the whole week HERE.
You can find the original post about the Rice Krispies Ice Cream Cones HERE.

Square Foot gardening and Miracle Gro Expand 'n Gro Giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
There were many years growing up that we had a vegetable garden. Nothing tastes better than home grown vegetables. This year my parents are trying out square foot gardening. I am letting them work out all the kinks and then I really want to try it out next year. Garden grown tomato slices with a little bit of salt and pepper is my favorite summer time snack. You can't beat it!
Good soil is really important to grow great vegetables. My parents used Miracle-Gro brand soil when setting up their square foot garden. Well Miracle-Gro has come out with a new product called, Expand ‘n Gro™. Expand 'n Gro sounds likes some pretty awesome plant food. Here are some of the selling points:
-Up to 3X the Flowers and Vegetables!* *versus native soil
-Significantly improves soil for multiple years
-Concentrated planting mix expands up to 3X when water is added
-Feeds for up to 6 months
-All natural fibers hold up to 50% more water than basic potting soil
Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix is different from basic potting and garden soils. It’s a unique blend of Miracle‐Gro plant food and coconut coir fiber, a compact, lightweight, easy‐to‐carry and easy‐to‐store bag of Expand ‘n Gro can do everything a big, heavy bag of soil can do, only better. This concentrated planting mix expands up to 3 times when mixed with water, feeds plants for up to 6 months, makes native soil more workable and retains up to 50% more moisture than basic potting soil.
I like that it is good for using in the ground or in pots. Check out these vegetables growing in the garden. I can't wait to see how the Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro makes these guys explode in size.
Tomatoes:
  
Zucchini:
  
In my next post I will be sharing my favorite summer garden vegetable, Zucchini. Now that you are hungry for some home grown veggies, how about a giveaway. I have a sample of Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro to give away to one of you.
EnG Product Shot.png

To enter, just leave me a comment with where you would use the Expand 'n Go concentrated planting soil. I will pick a winner in one week. Please make sure to include your email address so I can contact you, if you win. Good luck!
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Big Top Cupcake Mold

I have another 2 posts coming today, but I had to share this deal with you really quick. Do you remember the giant cupcake I made for the carnival party? Amazon has a smoking deal on the Big Top Cupcake Silicone Bakeware for only $8.77. I think mine was $25 when I got it. That's 65% off. It also qualifies for the free super saver shipping if you spend $25.

Here is the giant cupcake I made with the pan.



Here is the link again... Big Top Cupcake Silicone Bakeware.  Happy Shopping!

Here is the post about the carnival party dessert table, in case you missed it: http://www.cuteasafox.com/2011/01/carnival-party-dessert-table.html

Hunger Games Shirts

Happy Friday all! Is anyone going to see Hunger Games this weekend? Maybe you were brave and went to a midnight showing already. I have plans to go on Saturday morning and I am so excited! My husband and I have both read the books and I can't wait to see the movie.

I just wanted to drop in and show you these fabulous bleach dyed shirts that my friend Janice made over at her blog Celebrating Family. Janice is also one of my fellow contributors over at East Valley Mom Guide



Janice has the complete how-to over on her her blog. They should come together pretty quickly, so you still have some time to make your Hunger Games gear before you go and see the show!

Okay, I can't resist doing it just once. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Tips for inexpensive goody bags

Today I am going to show you what I put together for favor bags for my kids winter themed party. I was able to put them together for less than $1 a bag! I want to give you some of my tips on how you can keep costs down when putting together party favors.

Here is the contents of the bag and the cost breakdown. It was all in a cute lunch sized bag with a snowman on it. Sorry, no picture of the bag. 

Snowman Bag: $.12
Bubble Set: $.35
Snowman Lollipop: $.04
Paper and stickers $.15
Themed notebook and pen: $.23
Total: $.89

I thought the bags had some really good stuff in it for that price. Here are my tips so that you can do it too:
  1. Plan ahead - I knew that I would want to give goody bags at the kids birthday party and so I kept an eye out all year long for good deals. I bought the notepads during all the hot back to school sales and they were dirt cheap. Once I decided on a theme, I decorated them with paper I had on hand. You could make these work with any theme in the world.
  2. Clearance, Clearance, clearance! I love shopping the clearance section. Almost every holiday clearance has some items that are not holiday specific. The mini pens for instance, were Christmas clearance but they came in pink, red, blue, and green. The bubble pack was my major clearance score. I found them on summer clearance, and they had a ton of them left. Every kid loves bubbles, and this is another universal goody bag item.
  3. Utilize the closest holiday - If you want to keep the cost way down, it doesn't hurt to take advantage of the closest holiday to your event. My party was in January, so I combed Christmas clearance for items that weren't strictly Christmas, like santa and reindeer. That's how we ended up with snowmen and penguins. 
  4. Get creative with what you have on hand - My daughter loves stickers and art projects. I simply took some paper I had on hand to create a snow scene. I found some holiday stickers on clearance and was able to get a whole sticker page activity for only $.15 per kid.
Do you have any tips for keeping party costs low? I would love to hear them. Please share in the comments! Happy party planning!

Hola!

It looks like I inadvertently took a little blogging break. We have had the worst luck with sickness in 2012. Normally my kids are pretty healthy, but we have been sharing germs and illnesses around and around. Add on top of that Spring Break, and I am knee deep in mom stuff and living life.

I have some posts bouncing around in my head though, so I will be back soon! Only one more weekend until the kids are back in school and I can get my schedule back!
I miss you all, and I can't wait to get back in the swing of things.

Here's the obligatory shot of my cute kids. Seeing pictures like this make the goopy eyes, vomit, cough, and fevers all worth it.


Sponsored Post: Members Unite

Have you wanted to contribute to a good cause but felt like your one single contribution wouldn't make a difference? Have you felt concerned that you didn't know how your money was going to be spent? I know I have felt both of these things numerous times. There are so many great causes out there that needs funds but it can be overwhelming deciding how to allocate your charitable contribution.

Well Members Unite has a really creative solution to all of these problems. Members Unite is an organization that lets its members choose what causes receive a donation from the group.
Here is how it works. At the beginning of the month, Members Unite chooses a number of worthwhile causes and presents them on the Members Unite website. Then all of the members can log in and vote for their favorite cause. Each week the top causes advance and at the end of the month, the cause with the most votes gets a donation from Members Unite.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach my children about the importance of helping others in need. Today we logged into Members Unite and talked about all of the different causes up for a vote. This month there are nine different worthwhile causes to vote on. I let them help me decide who should get the highest rating. I showed them a $5 bill and explained that we were going to give one of these groups our $5 because they really need it. It was a great conversation starter and teaching tool with my kids.

Pictured above is three of the projects up for the vote. I love that Members Unite clearly outline what the money is going to be used for. For instance, the organization Schools on Wheels tutors homeless children that are not able to attend school regularly. The $5000 Members Unite donation will fund tutors for 30 homeless children for a year. I love knowing exactly how my money will be spent. My son is in kindergarten and education is a big topic for us so we rated Schools on Wheels 5 stars .   
Members Unite is very clear about how everything works. Here is how the voting schedule will go for March.

The donation for March will be $5000. For April they have already pledged over $6500 in members contributions. That number will continue to grow and grow as more generous people sign up with premium memberships.


Anyone can log in and create an account with Members Unite. However only Premium members have the ability to rank and vote on the causes. The good news is that a premium membership starts at only $5 a month. There is a yearly fee of $25 which goes to cover the overhead costs of Members Unite. This yearly fee means that 100% of your monthly contribution goes to the charity receiving the most votes at the end of the month.

I am really looking forward to logging in with the kids next week to see if our top picks made it through to round two of voting. Normally a donation means writing a check and forgetting about it. I like the level of involvement I will have. I may only be able to contribute $5 a month, but when you add that to all the members donations, it really adds up.
I would encourage you to sign up for Members Unite if you are able to give. It might mean skipping a Starbucks run or one less happy meal, but it would be worth it.