Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekend Recipe: Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread


Mine didn't come out as pretty as the one from the original blog post but it was still very yummy!!

The directions are here but here are the ingredients you'll need:
For the Dough:
  • 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 envelope(2 1/4 tsp) Active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 oz Butter
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
For the Filling:
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg (turns out we didn't have nutmeg but it turned out just fine.)
  • 2 oz Butter


The dough starts out very sticky but is much more manageable after being in the fridge over night. The dough last night:

This morning, the fun began! That's a lot of cinnamon and sugar!!

The waiting was the hardest especially when the wonderful aroma started coming from the oven. Even the kids, who usually have to be tricked into eating breakfast, were getting antsy. Fresh out of the oven:

Idea from this pin.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

School Days: Stars

We're still on the outer space theme. This week we concentrated on stars and constellations.

Here's a few things we did:

The kids painted telescopes.

I added black paper on one ended and used a needle to make "stars".

The view from the inside...yes, I realize I made the big dipper backwards..

Connect the dot seemed to fit in perfectly too...

Shared at Preschool Corner

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Flutter By Friday 7-29: Come Link-up!!

I've had a few hits to my blog thanks to a couple different blog hops/link-ups so I thought I'd start my own to pay it forward.

The reason:
For readers to find other neat blogs to read and follow.
For bloggers to find readers/followers.

Here’s what to do:
  • Use the linky at the bottom of this post to post up to 2 posts per blog hop.
  • Come back and see what other bloggers have been linked to.
  • Comment on a post you like.
  • Follow a new blog.
  • Come back next week to do it again!

I’ll randomly pick a link from this week’s blog hop to feature in next week’s blog hop!

I'd also appreciate if you placed this blog hop button on your blog.

Mama Dani's Musings

This linky will end Sunday evening.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Thoughts: Potty Training, Butterflies and more
Image: suphakit73 /

There's no theme for today's post. I just had an urge to write so bare with my rambling.

Last Sunday I was thinking about how Maddy was doing well with potty training awhile back and how we put that on hold when she started holding in her poop. Sean was also potty trained but started not catching it in time. He'd do a very small spot in his underwear and then go to the bathroom. This lead to a lot of laundry and me getting frustrated. He went into pull-ups and got lazy about going potty. So I decided that this week that we will be done pull-ups and diapers except for at night and when we're out of the house because as long as they were in diapers and pull-ups, they were not going to potty train. Sean adjusted very quickly and is back to where we left off. Monday, Maddy peed on the floor about a million times. Now would be the time that I'm the most thankful for pulling up all the carpet in the house! The good think about Monday was every time she peed on the floor she yelled "I peed!" and ran to the potty. She's making the connection! Tuesday was an awesome day! She only had one accident! Yesterday she had 3 and is at 3 for today. Not too bad though! I may be doing a small load of laundry everyday but I'm not wasting money on pull-ups and diapers and they are making progress!!

A cute moment today: Maddy had just woken up from nap and Sean walks over to her and puts his arm around her, "Hi there baby! Did you have a good nap?" *swoon*

This afternoon we had one of our Black Swallowtail butterflies emerge. He was so pretty!! We have 5 more that should emerge in the next day or two. Once they do, I'll get started on my post about raising Black Swallowtails. Not sure about you, but I'm looking forward to that post. They are not only pretty butterflies but pretty caterpillars too.

Sean got two more tomatoes from his garden today. They're suppose to be big tomatoes but instead he grew cute tiny tomatoes. It doesn't phase him though.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow. I'm hosting a weekly blog hog (Flutter By Fridays) for the first time!!

Are you on Twitter? Follow me @MamaDaniBlog

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Project 52: Week 30

Here's a look at what our bed looks like in the morning. ...well almost. Sean almost always sneaks into our bed as the sun rises and normally around that time Maddy makes her way onto our bed too. I love those morning snuggles!

p.s. Check out the update to my blog schedule on the right and the new button section at the bottom of the page.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kids Meal: Out of This World

Continuing with our space theme, here's today's lunch:

Cheese and cracker Saturn, Milky Way dessert, Banana/Strawberry/Chocolate chip alien,
Raisin meteors, Star sandwich and more Raisin meteors

More Muffin Tin Monday ideas:
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend Recipe: Ice Cream

We've had a heat wave this week so when I saw this blog post about making homemade ice cream I knew we had to do it. This isn't the first time hubby or I have made ice cream. Memories of high school chemistry class came flooding back to both of us.

We made 4 bag so each of us could have our own bag. We also double bagged them to prevent leaking because salty ice cream isn't tasty.

Ice cream ingredients (per bag):
  • 1 Cup Half & Half
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar

We then put the bags in a canister with ice and kosher salt (about 1/2 cup of salt per 1/2 of gallon of ice). The kids had a blast helping us roll and shake it until the ice cream formed (about 10 minutes for us).

The only thing left to do was to add toppings and enjoy! Yum!!

Post shared:
Joy Filled Living - Monday Blog Link-up

Friday, July 22, 2011

School Days: Solar System

We're just wrapping up week 2 on outer space. Over the past couple of weeks Sean learned all about the planets in our solar system and the asteroid belt.

Along with all the books we checked out of the library, I also found Magic School Bus: Lost in Space for him to watch. He loved it!

I taped planet print outs on the wall. He loved using his drum sticks to point to them and ask the names.
Solar System Pack from 1+1+1=1

And of course, Sean made a solar system to hang above his bed!

Next week, we're moving onto stars, constellations, comets and meteorites!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Butterfly Raising: Tanks/Cages

The first caterpillars we decided to raise had a very simple tank. It was an old 5 gallon aquarium with some leaves thrown in and a piece of fabric on top.

Then I discovered that making a "tree" with their food meant less work for me.

Well, the top of the tank wasn't the best because we soon had some get out!

Now we have a 10 gallon aquarium with a screen top (with screen that has smaller holes taped to the inside of the top).

When we only had 1 type of caterpillar in the tank:

After we added more caterpillars:

Last year, we left the chrysalises in the 10 gallon and released them from there. This year, the 10 gallon is a little crowded so I made a flight cage for chrysalises. It's just a mesh hamper with some fabric on the bottom (so the butterflies can get their footing if they fall) and garden netting over the opening.

There are 6 Black Swallowtail chrysalises and 2 Luna Moth cocoons in this picture.

2012 Update:
The aquarium was needed for the tadpoles we're raising so hubby was so kind to make me a new butterfly cage. Newborn caterpillars are kept in a jar until the second instar to discourage escapees.

Don't forget to check the new tab at the top called "Raising Butterflies" for my other posts!

Post shared:
Joy Filled Living - Monday Blog Link-up

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Project 52: Week 29

Sean wanted a garden this year and this week he got to pick his first tomato!

The kids helped me bake a cake but then decided playing with the flour and such that spilled on the table was more fun.

Finally, the cake was done and I think Maddy enjoyed it...

Also, don't forget to check the new tab up top "Raising Butterflies" and check back tomorrow for the post I'll be adding to it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kids Meal: Owl

The best part of making these meals is the reaction I get from the kids. Today, Aiden told me "Wow! That's awesome!"

Sandwich cut to look like an owl, cucumber and olive eyes, cheese beak,
and cucumber and pretzel tree

Idea from this pin.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Recipe: Pizza Muffins

Last night we tried something different for dinner. I found this recipe and thought it looked easy enough. Maddy enjoyed helping too.

This is all the dry ingredients the recipe called for. I ended up doubling it.

I used mini pepperoni to make things a little easier.

I also made full sized muffins because I don't have a mini muffin pan.

Maddy said, "Mmm Mmm Mmm Yummy food! I love it!"

Idea from this pin.

Friday, July 15, 2011

School Days: Planning, Part 2

I've been spending a lot of time lately reading and researching trying to figure out how we are going to do pre-k 4 this year (my earlier thoughts can be found here). I've looked into several curriculums. Nothing seemed 100% right. I looked back at what we did last year and there were a lot of things last year that didn't work right. I also had it in my mind that we wouldn't start up school again until September, like the public schools. Well...that was going to change...

During last week's trip to the library we brought home a book (well many but you know). In the story, a boy in his class are learning about outer space. I was reading it to Sean and could barely read any of it to him. His interest was peaked and he had so many questions. I decided that we'd do a mini lesson this summer on outer space. I really shouldn't say mini because I can see this lasting weeks! We went back to the library to get books on the solar system and to the store to get supplies to make a model of the solar system. Sean is beyond excited! He's just about leading the lesson.

Concentrating hard while painting the sun.

Earlier this week I was reading through my blog list and found this post:
Tailoring an Education
. I also had a visit with my cousin who's homeschooling her daughter. I'm coming to a realization that somehow I got sidetracked. I'm not trying to do public school at home! One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is being able to follow the child's lead. This is one of the reasons I decided to homeschool. I need to remember this!

The plan...and who knows, it could change!
We're going to do year round schooling with breaks through out the year. One of which will be when little jellybean is born. We're going to do unit studies. It'll be similar to what we did last year but I'm going to try harder to listen to what Sean wants to learn about, like outer space. Along with the unit studies, we'll supplement with phonics, writing and math. I may try to find curriculums for these but I'm not sure yet. There will be no set time to finish a unit study. It can take a week, a couple weeks or a week and a half. We'll just go with it. Once we're done with a unit study, we'll take a little time off. During that time we'll check out books on a variety of subjects at the library to see what peaks Sean's interest and I'll do lesson planning. Then we'll start it all over again.