Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkin Marshmallow Pops

Last month, we had a Lego party for my 6-year old son. I made cute yellow Lego-Head marshmallow pops. They were a hit with the kids and they loved the many faces I drew on them.  I started thinking about Fall and Halloween coming up. So...I decided to make pumpkin and jack-o-lantern marshmallow pops!
Want to make some of your own marshmallow pops?

  • Wilton Candy Melts (orange)
  • Bowl for melting candy
  • Large Marshmallows
  • Cookie sticks or cake pop sticks
  • Egg carton or Styrofoam (for drying)
  • Black decorating gel and/or green icing tubes, green sprinkles (optional)
  • Chocolate morsels

They are so easy and fun to make. First, you will need some candy melts. I used orange, but you can use white and add food coloring to it if you want a certain color.

Place marshmallows on top of cookie sticks.

Put candy melts in a microwaveable bowl. Melt the candies according to package. Mix the melted candy.

Dip marshmallows in melted candy coating. Use your spoon to smooth the coating for a finished look. Add a chocolate morsel to the top for a stem.

Stick pops in Styrofoam or egg carton to dry. (I poked holes at the top of the egg carton so the sticks would stand up straight and not touch the other pops.)

When the marshmallow pops are dry you can add candy embellishments or icing. Pipe a jack-o-lantern face with black decorating gel if you wish. I also added green sprinkles to the top for leaves. 

Enjoy these yummy and cute treats anytime!

Make pumpkin marshmallow pops

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fostering a Love for Reading

I have three children. They are 3, 6, and 7 1/2 years old. My oldest daughter just started Second Grade this year and I was excited to hear that she is reading on a Fourth Grade level. I am very blessed that all three of my children share my passion for reading. I don’t think it’s by accident that reading became one of their favorite things to do everyday. Before my children were born I received my degree in Early Childhood Development and I taught Kindergarten. My classroom was centered on literacy and so I made sure to center my home on literacy as well. It is never too early to get your child interested in reading! I read to my kids before they were born and I haven’t stopped since then! I am including a few ideas that parents can use to help foster a love for reading.

1. Read to your child daily! Snuggle up with a favorite book and spend time reading with them.  Have them read to you, too. Even if they aren’t reading words yet, they can still retell a story or make up their own story from the pictures.

2. Add Books to Every Room. My children have a shelf and/or reading basket in each of their rooms. We also keep a large basket of books in our living room. Why not throw some children’s cook books in the kitchen, too?

3. Model Reading. I keep my kindle or book that I am currently reading on my nightstand. I have always made it known to my children that reading is important to me.

4. Put out baskets of Themed-Books in a central location like the living room or playroom. The basket in our living room holds favorite books, but I also change out the books to relate to a theme or holiday we are celebrating at the time. Since the kids recently started back to school I have our basket full of school related books (The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing, Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London, etc.) I need to put out our Fall books soon, too.

5.  Discover and share with your child different literacy activities. Do a Google search on activities to do with a child’s favorite book and you will find endless ideas. Make a snack that relates to a special book. (For example, green food coloring with eggs and sliced ham go great with Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. Use a straw to make a hole through different foods and serve it up after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.) In the future, I plan on sharing with you many other literacy activities that we have enjoyed together.

6. Make a reading nook or find a special place for quiet reading time. This can be as easy as throwing a few pillows on the floor next to your bookshelf or letting them sit in a special child-sized chair.
I especially like the reading fort made by Carla from smallfriendly.comFor instructions on how she made hers, visit Mini Lounger Tutorial.

7. Make good use of your local library. Let me tell you something about my children. Their second home is our local library. We are constantly checking out new books from there. We go to “mommy and me” story time, craft day, and other events put on by the library. You may be surprised at what they have to offer so make sure and check it out!

8. Offer a variety of reading materials. My oldest daughter loves getting her hands on a good chapter book. My little boy can’t get enough of comic books and books about Space, and my three-year-old can always spot a Dora the Explorer book from a mile away. Have newspapers, magazines, comic books, picture books, fiction and nonfiction books readily available to your children. You never know what might catch their interest!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

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Grocery Shopping with Kids

If you're a mom you know how hard it can be to take young children to the grocery store sometimes. I know other moms who hire a babysitter just to go grocery shopping because they dread dragging their children along with them. In the past my parents or my in-laws sometimes took care of my little ones if I knew I had a long grocery-shopping trip ahead of me. But, most of the time I have all three kids in tow. To make it fun I try my best to include them in the actual grocery shopping. These are some of my tips to make for a smooth shopping trip.

1. Feed your child beforehand or bring a snack for them to eat in the cart. Just like an adult shouldn’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, you should not take your hungry kids shopping either. Otherwise, you may hear, “Can we get this?” a lot.
2. Let them help write the grocery lists. Let them choose one snack, fruit, or favorite cereal of their choice to add to the list before you leave the house.
3. Have shopping helpers. Ask your child to add an item from your list into the basket. My kids love placing items into the cart and being a part of the shopping process. They have fun unloading the groceries at checkout time, too!
4. Play games along the way. (i.e., “I spy a fruit that is green.” Or “Who can find the Cheerios box first?”)
5. Give your child his or her own Grocery List. This is one of my kid’s favorite things to do at the grocery store. I made a printable grocery list just for them. It has both pictures and words and a spot to “check” off their items. Mini clipboards work great for this and kids LOVE them!

Kid's Grocery List Printable

Want a copy of this Kid's Grocery List? Feel free to download and print from the link below! Leave me a comment on how you make shopping with children easier or just leave a comment letting me know that you stopped by! Don't forget to share!

Free Printable Kid's Grocery List here.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall Bucket List 2013

I live in South Texas where we always joke about our two kinds of weather.  Hot and Hotter.  It is no surprise that we suffered through yet another hot and dry summer.  (I won’t complain too much though because I am really blessed to live here.) But, that does not stop me from dreaming of wearing a sweater and boots on the first day of Fall this year.  Will it happen? Highly, unlikely!  Still I am itching for that cooler weather and for all the fun Fall events and activities that go along with this time of year. Our family just completed our lengthy and exciting Summer Bucket List. And, even though summer isn’t officially over and the heat has not subsided, I just had to create our Fall Bucket List. We visit at least one big pumpkin patch and Fall Festival every year. The kids cannot get enough of all the events put on throughout our community! As for me, I know I still have a list of crafts and recipes that I want to try out and maybe feature on this blog. What do you have planned for this Fall season? What are your “Must Do’s” in Autumn?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Just the Beginning

For about a year I have contemplated starting a blog. I am super excited to finally take the plunge and launch my blog “Mama Gets It Done.” I am hoping this blog will help me go one step further in organizing, remembering, and sharing all the fun ideas I have found and experienced as a mom. I also hope to get more ideas from other readers and bloggers! For those of you who know me personally you know that I like to cook, bake, craft, and find ways to improve on life. I will admit I get A LOT of my inspiration from…you guessed it- Pinterest! I mean who doesn’t love Pinterest?! Well, maybe my husband. But, that’s only because I am always on it…and, after all, he is a guy. I have a long list of do-it-yourself projects to start, recipes to try out, and fun activities to share with my family. Maybe writing this blog will encourage me even more to “get it done.”