Pimp My Mommy Van 10 Ways

Someone needs to start a Pimp My Mommy Van store. I’d pay some big bucks.  Some of the things on my wish list:

1.) Sound proof barrier between the front and the back seats like in a limo

Probably my husband would like an additional sound proof barrier between the driver and passenger seat, but that would get DENIED. :-p

2.) Self-vacuuming This one is self explanatory

3.) Vending machine that someone comes and stocks for me b/c I’ll forget and it’ll be useless if not.

4.) Seats (all but driver seat) that have the ability to deliver a minor shock.  Minor shock never hurt anyone permanently right?  This can be initiated by the driver when the kids start fighting, or anyone refuses to eat where the driver wants to eat, or anyone complains of the music or otherwise disrupts the peace..

And a voice would come over the intercom saying, “Eh – Try again.” B/c moms shouldn’t have to talk while they drive.. Or ever. Can we just outsource the talking altogether? That could just be a portable voice box that we take with us and push the appropriate button for, “Yes dear”, “Eh – try again”, or “Oh wow – that’s so interesting”.

5.) A little robot that hands people stuff when it falls on the floor b/c this is the least safe of all and I never hand anyone anything while driving which leads to the littlest one screaming her head off which is also probably not a safe driving situation. :-p

6.) Amazon Echo built into the back of the car to answer all the millions of questions the kids ask – this way the kids can actually learn something instead of me making stuff up..

Isn’t it funny how they ask some really hard to answer questions when you are running really late for something and you are trying to remember the millions of things you are supposed to be bringing? It’s like why are they thinking about why the Earth is round when they are supposed to be getting buckled? Think about the buckle and the sound of it snapping together.  Or my favorite: How do sheep born babies?  I’ve actually gotten this question and it stumps me everytime..

It should also be programmable to say “mm-hmmm” and “okay” alternately whenever there is a non-question b/c you know they are speaking so quietly in the car that there is no way you’d hear them over the engine anyway. At least that’s what my kids do. At the library and at fancy restaurants (the rare times we choose to torture ourselves) they run and yell but in the car or when they are saying something that I’m really interested in, they squeak like a mouse. I’ll never understand it.

7.) Headphones that come down from the ceiling and land magically on the kid’s heads

Like we really need to reinforce the idea that things fall magically from the sky on command but in this case it might be necessary. If they get their hands on the headphones they will break instantly or disappear into thin air.

8.) TV screens that don’t break after a month – anyone else have this problem?

9.)  A toilet because one of the kids always has to go to the restroom.  This one was suggested by a friend of mine which, of course, I agreed with – this has to be on the list.  Also, you should be able to eject the contents of this toilet if someone is riding up on your tail..

10.) An eject button which would eject the kids out of the car and safely onto the sidewalk with all their stuff. Otherwise, it takes for-ever for the kids to get out of the car. I have one kid that purposefully waits until everyone else is out of the car before she even attempts to unbuckle her seat belt. This is especially bad in the winter or when it’s raining or when you are running late in the school drop off line and holding up all the parents behind you who are also running late. How cool would that be to be able to push the eject button? It would be like: “Love you guys!” Eject. Mom drives off waving and smiling. That would go so much smoother than, “Ok, guys hope you have a good day! There’s a long line of cars behind us waiting so try to speed it up. Why aren’t you already out of the car? You are going to be so late. What is taking so long?!? [Kids making sure their backpacks are perfectly centered on their back.] Get out. Seriously, guys you have to get out! Love you! [Mom drives off frazzled]”.

Did I miss anything? As you can see, I’ve been thinking a lot about this – dreaming about it actually every time I get in the car.. And we spend a lot of time in the car – don’t we moms? Shuttling the little people back and forth and here and there. We deserve to get our vans (or whatever you drive) pimped. :-p  If you saw the state of my van, you would agree. I recently spent a couple of weeks driving with gnats flying around my head because my kids shoved food in one of the receptacles in the back and I refused to acknowledge it.  If I had one of those sound proof barriers, I suppose that would keep the gnats in the back as well.  :-p

Hmm – I think I would live in my car if I could get these upgrades. A mom can dream can’t she.. What else do we “need”?

Chocolate Lave Mug Cake

Careful – this recipe will make you gain weight real quick!  It is sooo good, but use sparingly!  :-p

Chocolate Lava Cake in a Mug (in the microwave):

In a large mug, whisk together:
4 tbsp flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp white sugar
2 heaping tbsp cocoa powder

then add in:

1 egg
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp milk
a splash of vanilla extract
A splash of almond extract (optional)
dash of salt

whisk together thoroughly until well combined.

dump 3 tbsp chocolate chips on top of the batter but do not stir.

microwave for ONE minute, then stir. microwave another 20-30 seconds, and voila! chocolate cake in under 5 minutes.

Mini Cream Cheese Danishes

And yet another dessert for breakfast idea.  I’m starting to see a new theme here.  Maybe I should just rename this site DessertForBreakfastorBust.  I did read an article recently that talked about how you should eat your dessert during the day as opposed to at night.  So, here we go, we’re in line with the health advice of the day which I’m sure will be completely different in a year or two – then they’ll be telling us research shows we should be having our dessert at midnight.  :-p  Really, we shouldn’t be eating dessert, but that’s not realistic..  And I’ve done my own research which proves that eating dessert is actually a mood lifter and gives you more energy and motivation to do some renovation – when you tell yourself if you just finish painting a room – you can have a danish, etc..  One danish per room is REALLY motivating.  :-p

Mini Cream Cheese Danishes

Ingredients:
• 1 roll Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Filling:
• 8 ounces soft cream cheese
• 1/2 cup sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla
• 1 can cherry or blueberry pie filling
Glaze:
• ⅓ cup powdered sugar
• 2 tsp. milk
Directions:
1. Open container of rolls and do no unroll them. Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut through them like slice/bake cookies. Make 10 slices.
2. Lay each slice on a cookie sheet.  (You can put wax paper down if you want – I didn’t)
3. Use a measuring cup to flatten each roll out and build a small wall around the edge.

Filling:
1. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
2. Drop a small amount into each “danish.”
3. Add a teaspoonful of cherries or blueberries.
4. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
5. Let cool and add a drizzle of glaze.  (I actually didn’t do the glaze part because I’m lazy – tastes good either way..)

Glaze:
1. Combine milk and sugar and drizzle on danishes. Can use a pastry bag, if desired.

Sopapilla Cheesecake Dessert

Another dessert for breakfast idea.  I bring this dessert to my MOPS meetings and everyone asks for the recipe.  It is sooo good!  I don’t really eat breakfast unless it’s amazing so that’s why I tend to have dessert breakfasts..  :-p  And it has to be stuff that goes well with my coffee.  Anyone have an amazing coffee cake recipe?  I still have yet to make a coffee cake..  One day..

Sopapilla Cheesecake Dessert

Ingredients:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, Softened
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (8 ounce) cans crescent roll dough
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9X13 inch pan. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Beat the cream cheese with sugar, egg, and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Unroll 1 can of crescent roll dough, place into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining can of crescent dough.
  3. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Stir the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar together with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the cheesecake.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.

From Potty To Powder Room 03/2016

Don’t you love having to update bathrooms?!?!  It’s my least favorite thing b/c after all it’s just where you go to poop – how fancy does it have to be?  Well, we aren’t always rational beings, right?

Everything in these bathrooms was purchased at Home Depot so that makes it nice and easy.  I’ve been told that Moen is the best brand to buy when selecting faucets/shower heads, etc so I try to stick with that brand where it’s available.  And also to never put ceramic tile on the floors (it’s cheaper but more likely to crack) so I selected porcelain tile.

We did have some unknowns come up – we had to replace most of the sub-floor in both bathrooms due to water damage (not surprising considering these bathrooms haven’t been updated since 1969 – we think) and we discovered some pipes needed to be updated once we opened the walls.  You always have to expect the unexpected.

Isn’t that what they say on Survivor? Renovating can be a little like Survivor. Mentally, you are stressed b/c you aren’t sure if you picked the right contractor. Physically, you may not be showering – in the case of a bathroom update. Or you may not be eating right – in the case of a kitchen update. There’s dust everywhere and loud noises – as if you are in the wild.

Anyway, I digress..  When renovating – something always comes up, doesn’t it?!?!  It does for us and I don’t think we are alone. Or that would be more like Naked and Afraid – anybody watch that show?  I used to be against it b/c hello they are naked and in what world are you going to be naked and lost. You should at least have a pair of initial clothes, right?  You’re not going to be like – Hey! I’m lost!  And then proceed to rip off your clothes.  But now I’m a fan of the show b/c it’s so interesting minus all the butt shots.  Again, I digress.  My ADD gets me EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

Don Sladek from Sladek Construction LLC was our contractor (you can find him on Facebook) and he did an amazing job at a great price and in good time.  We highly recommend him!  It seriously only took him about 1 week per bathroom. But I’m sure that changes based on complexity – ours were relatively no frills. In case you are interested, here are the selections we made regarding tile, etc:

Wall Tile Selection:
Grout: Polyblend #115 Platinum
Store SKU# 1001256662
Tile: MARAZZI VitaElegante Bianco 6 in. x 24 in. Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile (14.53 sq. ft. / case)
Store SKU# 1000047587

Floor Tile Selection:
Grout: Polyblend #165 Delorean Gray
Store SKU# 656844
Tile: MARAZZI Studio Life Central Park 12 in. x 24 in. Glazed Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile (15.60 sq. ft. / case)
Store SKU# 1001292431

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Hall Bathroom
HallBathroom2
Hall Bathroom

Master bathroom:

MasterBathroom
Master Bathroom
MasterBathroom3
Master Bathroom

The paint color we chose for the walls is Antique White.  They are small bathrooms and it’s a rental so I figure you can’t go wrong with that.  It also brightens them up and makes them feel bigger.

 

 

Blueberry Muffin Cake

Since I like cake for breakfast, let’s call this a blueberry muffin cake and call it a day! You are allowed to eat blueberry muffins for breakfast but not cake so this is the best of both worlds!

Blueberry Muffin Cake
Ingredients:
Mix together:
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Cream together:
2 cup sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with:
1 cup whole milk
Next, gently fold in 3 cups blueberries mixed with a little flour.  Pour the batter in a 9×13 pan.

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake the cake for 45 minutes to an hour.

 

Giving Jar for Girl Scout Philanthropy Badge or Cute Everyday Piggybank

I was recently in charge of a Girl Scout meeting for my oldest girl scout to help the girls earn their Philanthropy badge.  Well, me and my daughter were in charge but you know how that goes…  😉  We needed an activity for the girls during the meeting and I felt like this giving jar was the perfect idea.  This jar is a place where they can save up their coins to donate to a charity of their choosing.  We talked about what charities already exist out there and about how a dime doesn’t buy much here but in a third world country could buy a child a breakfast of oatmeal and such. I also had some magazines and had them cut out some wants vs needs and glue them to poster boards but I would say they were more excited about the jars.

What you’ll need:

sponge brushes (to paint on the mod podge) Found a pack of them at Wal-Mart for cheap.
mason jars (pint-sized – got from Wal-Mart b/c they had some that didn’t have any engravings on them)
tissue paper (multi-colored)
mod podge
card stock (multi-colored for the lids)
box cutter (to cut the slit in the lid for the coins)

The girls were excited to make their jars.  I cut the circles out of tissue paper beforehand.  At first, I bought a circle punch from Michael’s and that was worthless.  It kept tearing the tissue paper and not cutting then eventually broke from too much use (or frustration on my part?!?!) so I had to abandon that idea.  In the end, I found the best way to cut out the circles was to fold the tissue paper over itself multiple times and trace a 1.5 inch circle which I first cut out of card stock (using my whole punch when it was still alive).  Then, I traced that on the folded tissue paper and cut out multiple circles at a time that way.  You will need some strong scissors – I used the kitchen shears b/c I wanted to cut as many circles as humanly possible at one time..  :-p  They don’t have to be perfect – no one will notice..

First, you paint mod podge on a section of the jar using a sponge brush (it dries quick so just one small section at a time), then stick the circles to it, then paint the mod podge over the circles and repeat.  It is pretty easy.  Just keep overlapping the circles so that every inch of the jar is covered.  For the top, I just cut a circle out of card stock and used a box cutter to make the coin slit in it.  Wallah!  Pretty cute, right?  You could also just use it for a pencil holder or you could do the same thing with a vase from the dollar store.  Whatever you want. I need to make one using different colored tissue paper for my office..20160326_171604 (2)

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Here’s a link to the video that shows you the tehnique:

 

And here’s a website where I initially found the philanthropy badge information and the common sense jar.  I kind of combined the two ideas:

http://followthejrleader.blogspot.com/2014/03/brownie-philanthropy-badge.html

Hallway Transformation into Command Center

Because I love magnet and tack boards so much, I decided to update this hallway in between the kitchen and the office into a place where I could put the menu for the week, to do lists, hang the kids artwork, homework, Christmas cards, pictures, etc.  Why not?  I already had the magnet board collage on the one side (as per earlier post), but I made the 4 tack boards more recently (over Christmas break) using different colored yarn to match the magnet boards and hung those up using french cleats.  My husband actually did the hanging and boy was he excited and not in a good way!!! j/k – sort of :-p  I actually made the tack boards instead of putting together Christmas cards to send out (which would explain my lack of Christmas cards received)  b/c I’m ADD like that and I REALLY enjoy doing new projects when I’m supposed to be doing something else – isn’t it strange how that works?  Anyone else like that?  Some pics below:

Hallway_twotackboards
Hallway_2tackboardsOther
Hallway_TackboardsAll Hallway_Tackboard Hallway_MagnetBoards Hallway_BothSides

Chrysanthemum mirror

Things you’ll need:
Extra large heavy duty box (Home Depot – around $5)
7 inch mirror (Joann’s – around $3)
6 packs of spoons (dollar store) – you may need more or less depending on size of your mirror
hot glue gun and glue sticks
buttons (Joann’s – bought a jar of white ones for half off $3)

Cut large circle out of the card board box.
The diameter for mine is about 22 inches. I made a large compass by using a pencil, some string, and a tack. I tacked the string to the center of the circle and tied the string around the pencil at about 11 inches, then I drew the circle, keeping the string taut. It doesn’t have to be perfect – this project is very forgiving. Cut the circle out with some strong shears.

Glue mirror to center of cardboard using hot glue.

Cut spoons up. This doesn’t have to be very precise either. Mine popped off in random spots. You could even break them too if you wanted.

Glue spoons on cardboard starting at the outermost edges and working your way in towards the mirror. See my spoon spacing in the pictures below.  Once you get closer to the mirror you may notice some asymmetrical-ness however you can just glue some extra spoons in places if you need to fill in any gaps. It is pretty forgiving.

Pull off the glue strings.

Spray paint the whole thing except the mirror. I just taped some paper to the mirror to cover it so it wouldn’t get spray painted. The edges did get a little bit of paint splatter on them but I covered the edges with buttons so it didn’t show too much. Pull off any other glue strings that showed up. It’ll take a few rounds of spray painting to get everything fully covered and you’ll have to hit it from several different angles.  I used Rust-Oleum Apple Red from Home Depot – the kind of paint that says it adheres to plastic.

Lay out your buttons the way you want them and hot glue them on. I put them half on half off the mirror to cover up the spoon handles and paint splatter. Here’s some pictures of the progression.

Lastly, I hot glued two large saw tooth hangers to the back of this and planning to hang with 2 dry wall screws.  We’ll hope that holds it b/c if it doesn’t I will be having myself an adult tantrum!  :-p  UPDATE: I had to glue the saw tooth hangers on with wood glue – the hot glue didn’t hold – luckily only one of the hangers came off and the mirror was still being held up by the other hanger – whew!

Actually, this project is quicker than you think if you don’t do the trial and error like I did.  I originally tried to make this ombre where you had red in the middle, then pink, then light pink then white spoons, which meant I had to paint each spoon individually with acrylic paint – I do not recommend this!  It didn’t work for me.  First of all, I would’ve had to paint each spoon twice which already once tried my patience and I had several drips onto the cardboard (which I had spray painted white) that just made it look messy and sloppy. So, I spray painted over that whole mess with the red and it looks so much better.  Next time, if I try ombre (and I might b/c now the girls want this same decoration in their rooms!), then I will spray paint the spoons ahead of time (some dark pink, some lighter pink, some white, etc) and then glue them on – I will not try to paint with acrylic paint and paint brush again – no thanks!  I made this one for the laundry room since I spend all my time in there anyway and I thought I’d like a pretty flower mirror to look at – makes complete sense, right?  Yep, my husband thinks so too! :-p

ChrysMirror2ChrysanthMirror1

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ChrysanthMirror8

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Third Grade Winter Party

I’m planning my third grader’s “winter” party this year.  It’s a little challenging finding winter related things that don’t have to do with Christmas – thought I’d share the plan here in case anyone else could find this information useful.

Craft 1: Beanie snowmen:  We will make snowmen (and women :-p) out of socks, rice, rubberbands, buttons.  I’ll prepare the base snowperson (don’t want rice all over the floor of the classroom :-/ ) ahead of time and they will decorate, etc.  This video is basically where I got the inspiration and I’m going to do make the base snowperson the exact same way, but I’m not going to use pins in the classroom b/c I don’t know if the teachers or parents would like that.  I’m planning to use some heavy duty glue dots that I found at Joann’s. They were $7, but Joann’s often has coupons for 50%off, etc. These glue dots are non-toxic and stick very well – stuff doesn’t come off unless you yank it. I also bought googly eyes and orange pipe cleaners for the nose ( you can just poke the pipe cleaner straight through the sock – no glue dot required there). I found adult male tube socks at Walmart for a really good price (10 pair in one pack) for about $7.  One pair will make 2 snowmen so not bad.  The only other thing I’m adding is that I’m going to get some Christmas socks from the dollar store and cut them up to make ugly Christmas sweaters for the snowmen – gotta inject some humor in this somewhere!  :-p

Here’s a pic of how ours turned out (Pinterest fail or win?):

BeanieSnowman

Craft 2: Pipe cleaners and beads to make snowflakes.  I’m going to bring an example and make the snowflakes out of pipe cleaners ahead of time so the kids just have to add the beads. I bought relatively big sized beads (pony beads work well) b/c if the beads are too small it would take way too long.

Game 1: Cup stacker – stack 28 cups into a pyramid in under 1 minute.  Using 28 winter cups, the students will try to make a pyramid in under a minute – this will probably take a few rounds for any one kid to get – takes a while to figure out how many to use as the base.  I’ll bring 2 sets of 28 cups so 2 kids can do this at the same time.  Or we can just have 1 kid at a time and if they master it pretty quickly, we can add on cups.  We’ll probably need to do this one on the floor b/c the desks may not be big enough to hold the pyramid.

Game 2: Snowball transfer – transfer snowballs from one bucket to another using only your mouth.  Using ping pong balls and 2 small winter buckets, we’ll have the kids transfer the balls from one bucket to the other using only their hands.  Initially, we’ll have the buckets right next to each other but we can make it more challenging by moving them further apart if they master it quickly.  One kid will go at a time.  I’ll bring more than 21 spoons, so each kid can keep their spoon – don’t want to transfer germs or anything.

Game 3: Winter charades – I’ll make a set of cards with winter words on them and the kids can act out one at a time.  They have one minute to get someone to guess and the person that guess correctly gets a point. If we run out of cards, I’ll bring some extra (non-winter) charade cards from home so they can keep playing, but hopefully we’ll have enough.

All the games will be minute to win it style so you’ll need to make sure you have a stopwatch function on your phone or something like that so you can time them – I just have a Clock app on mine and that does most everything.