Oh Crepe!

I have been missing my crepe maker all summer.  We love crepes so much that it is often the meal we make when we have friends over-especially if they have kids.  There are so many different kinds of crepe fillings that everyone can find something the like.

The secret to our crepe success is this handy little tool.  It is one of my all-time favorite wedding gifts!  This is a photo of mine, it's "Maxim" brand and plugs right into the wall.  I searched for it online, and it looks like crepe makers are relatively inexpensive, depending on the kind you are looking for.  This little tool makes dinnertime or lunchtime or breakfast time a lot of fun!

The batter is easy: milk, butter, flour, water, eggs-there are a ton of yummy recipes online.  Just a quick dip in the batter and they come out nice and thin.  A little light comes on to tell me they are done-it couldn't get much easier!
Preparing the fillings does take a bit of prep time.  Much of the fruit can be cut ahead.  With my husband and I both preparing fillings and making crepes we can go start to finish with enough for 2 families in about an hour.

Some of our favorite fillings are: 
strawberries (or any berries!)
an omlette-like filling
a chicken salad-type filling.

Don't be surprised if you end up eating quite a few crepes.  We always encourage our dinner friends to.  They aren't like tortillas because they really aren't very filling.  They are only about 8" around.  So you can indulge and taste all the varieties!

If you want to go for a dessert crepes, add some whipped cream, powdered sugar, and chocolate syrup.

You can sneak a lot of vegetables into the chicken and egg fillings.  If you have a garden, this is a great way to use a bunch of your fruits and veggies.  Our kids always eat every kind of filling.  Even if they just go for fruit and yogurt, that's not so unhealthy!

Consider treating yourself and your friends to a crepe party!  It's a yummy {little project}.

Friday Favorites and Freebies

Happy Friday!  I hope you find something to fit your fancy!

I'm loving these fabric necklaces. There is a free pattern here and they are a great way to use up beautiful scraps of fabric!

An easy way to cuten up your ponytails or make necklaces with things you have at home.

A neat way to turn a mason jar into a soap dispenser here.

It's always fun to be able to save some $ and this site was a fun find this week.  Some fun on discounts for toys too :)

I am always looking for better ways to be organized. This is a BEAUTIFUL way to keep those business cards together-with instructions to make your own!


Thank you to all of you who said a nice hello during the giveaway. Your kind words made my day! Sorry it's taken me a couple of days to get the winners posted. We moved back home after finishing our summer internship and packing and unpacking is always so much work! I've also been doing a ton of handmade work for my first market of the summer! I'm so excited to be home and able to be able to make some of my favorite things. 
I've been working on making a bunch of hair pretties to go with my favorite Ouchless Headbands:

and these warmies, which I call Lava Legs because they keep little legs warm and comfortable.
And a couple of my Mama Natural Nursing Covers too:
It's been a busy "little project!"

For more fun choosing the winner I had Jay and Kay pick names out of a hat. So you can thank them if you won :)

Prize #1 of the finger puppets goes to:
Lisa, "I love this series of projects. You've given me lots of ideas."

Prize #2 of the storage and wooden people goes to:
Jennifer, "I love your little village! I think my 4 year old and 2 year old would love to make one of these Thanks for the idea."

I'll get these off in the mail to you in my new earth-friendly shipping.  I'll try to get a tutorial up soon for anyone else who would like to ship that way too!

Friday Favorites and Freebies

Happy Friday to you!  Here are some favorites and freebies for this Friday.

If you are up for a good laugh, watch what happens with a slip'n slide and a ramp here!

Do your kids (or you!) love a good cardboard box makeover? Check out this tool.

I've been wondering how to make these awesome cards for a long time.  If you want to do a neat card or invitation, check this out-it's like magic!

Sew a yoga bag with this FREE pattern from Amy Butler

Tiny is always so cute-check out these tinies! (definitely a "little" kind of project ;)

I hope you find something to fit your fancy :)

Village Friends and a GIVEAWAY

This weekend we say goodbye to our friends we have made this summer during our internship and head back to real life. Before that happens we had to put our friends in the village.  Here is Abby's house:
And here is Stone's house, where Jay had Spanish lessons and I gave piano lessons each week.
Those are the only 2 we have done so far.  I sewed velcro onto the front of each house and used a sharpie marker to write some numbers and the friend's name.  That way they are all interchangeable and we can practice making 2 digit numbers.

Our village has been Jay and Kay's favorite {little project} this summer.  Today, before we packed it up we got everything out and made the full village. 
 Here is a little tour:
The library, post office, store, and park/farm area:

We added a small airport this morning on the back left, and you can see Abby's and Stone's houses, the construction site, and the roads and stop lights.

Here is an arial view:

We just used the cofee table that was in our apartment.  It was the perfect height for the kids. If you are building a village too, consider a short table.  A train table would also work well.

We will miss seeing and playing with our friends here, but at least they still "play" in our village.
When we get back we will make a few more people to resemble our friends.  This past post has links for a list of how to make your own roads and village places.

And now for a little GIVEAWAY fun!  We have had a great time with these animal finger puppets and I picked up an extra set to share with YOU!
So one lucky winner will receive this little set of animal finger puppets:
And another winner will receive this collapsible box.  I love storage like this.  We have stored our village in one of these this summer and I have an extra to share. 
This fun little box will come with some fun little wooden people too!
1- To enter the giveaway, leave a comment.
2- If you are a follower of This Little Project (you can add yourself on the sidebar) you can leave another comment and be entered again.
3- If you subscribe to this blog please leave another comment to be entered again.
4- And if you blog about the village let me know with a comment for another chance to win.
So there are 4 chances for each of you :)  Don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you if you win! The giveaway ends on Tuesday, August 25th!  

Little "Green" Projects

I had an experience which warmed my heart.  In a world where people seem to be more worried about what they wear than anything else, I witnessed real beauty at my local recycle center!  As you may know, we are in a new town for the summer.  My laundry room and garage have been piling up with things that need to be recycled.

Good news: I found where to take them all and we've been there a few times now. The sight of people showing up and sorting their own "recycle garbage" into different bins made my heart swell! We hear so much bad news and so much about unhappy things in this world. Seeing so many people choose to make the world a better, cleaner place made my day. It seriously made me so happy!

I find that my own experience of learning about ways to lessen our family's impact on the Earth and prevent waste goes like this:
1- I learn about a specific issue/problem.
2-  I want to do something better.
3- I come across an idea of something I CAN DO.
4- I have to think on it until I figure out how I can make that idea fit into my life.
5- I make the change.

My sister is always a step ahead of me on this. When I visited her in DC this past spring she told me that they no longer use any paper towels or paper napkins. She has converted entirely to cloth napkins and cloth towels for their family. I thought, "seriously? wow! I don't know if I could do that." I had to think on it. I think of all the paper products we've just tossed and never thought about....sad, I never even thought about it! But, now I am figuring out how to fit that in my life.

These little cloths are one of our little green projects that brings good change for us.  I only bought 40 of them :)
It seems like a little thing really, to reuse something.  It is amazing how good it can make you feel.

If you want to make/use some too, here is a great list of how to stop using paper towels, napkins, and even baby wipes I think it is an inspiring thought.  If you are like me, you can think on it and you will be able to see a way to make small changes in your life and help your family learn too.  A little bit really does matter!

Here are some tips to prolong the life of your washing cloths from Stacy@momcentral.com:
"Synthetic sponges and kitchen cloths can start to smell and carry bacteria, but you don't have to toss them out after a few uses. One option to reduce bacteria is to sanitize sponges and dishrags by soaking them in a bleach solution (¾ cup of bleach* to a gallon of water) for 5 minutes in the sink. Don't forget to rinse and dry when done. A wet sponge can also be microwaved to get rid of bacteria. (* Always remember to read and follow precautions and usage directions before using cleaning products)"

To learn how to make your own green kitchen cleaning supplies at Plum Pudding.  I love her cleaning container too!

One of our other little "green" projects has been turning old tank tops
and T-shirts into grocery shopping bags.  Want to know how many bags Americans THROW AWAY each year?  It will make you sad!  100 billion! :(  Did you know that if you sew the bottom of a T-shirt closed, cut off the arms and cut the neck a little wider it makes an awesome grocery bag?

Another little green project: donate your old stuff to a thrift store.  It makes me so sad to drive around on garbage day and see all the things people are just not using anymore that are filling the landfills.  I see high chairs, desks, chairs, etc.  They look totally decent and maybe the owners didn't know that most thrift stores offer free pick-up of items.  A phone call.  So easy!

Little things really mean a lot.  See if you can add a little Green project into your life.  It will make you happy :)

Friday Favorites and Freebies

Here are some Favorites and Freebies. I hope you find something to fit your fancy!

A favorite treat in the summertime is ice cream.  Drumsticks are always a favorite.  Here are instructions for how to make your own! ( via Crafty Crow)

My Jay is a map monster so when I heard about the Atlas of World History program that combines history with maps of the world I was thrilled.  Unfortunately it is not available for Macs :(  It's a program developed by a New Jersey high school teacher and is highly praised.  To download it for free go here. (via HomeschoolFreebieoftheDay)

If you have book lovers at your house (or wish you did) these shelves are for you-and come with DIY instructions:) (via simplemessyfun)

If you would like to follow along with an awesome handwork curriculum (waldorf) for the year, check this out. (beautiful!)

Check out this WAY Awesome design for a pinewood derby car.

Happy Friday to YOU!

How to make your own Tap Shoes

I have had the idea for making some handmade tap shoes bouncing around my head for awhile. Like so many ideas, sometimes it takes me awhile to get around to making and enjoying the {Little Project} with my kiddos.   Since we are away from home (and our tap shoes) this summer we've been playing in our homemade tap shoes.

You may be wondering, "What can you do better with tap shoes on? Why make them?"

I'll share some of the fun things that we do in ours. First, let me say that learning to understand where the beat of the music is in one of the great treats in life. The younger your kids are, the easier it is to teach them. Start with babies bouncing on your knee to the music. I taught and competed percussive dance (tap, clogging, Irish step) for 13 years and I'm telling you...if someone waits too long to learn to hear the beat of the music it is almost impossible to teach them  to "hear" it.   So that is one great reason for making and playing in these {Little Project Tap Shoes} but you will find more as you read on! 

Below you will find instructions for how to make your own {Little Project Tap Shoes} as well as some fun ways to utilize them for more than just learning good rhythm.  We are lovin' all this tapping fun. I think you will too!

Here are some perks of your {Little Project Tap Shoes}
they are one-size-fits-all
the kids aren't going to grow out of them
the cost is about $1 for each pair of {Little Project Tap Shoes}
They give you a chance to work on your balance
Boys AND Girls love them (what boy doesn't love making noise?)
they are tons of FUN to dance and walk around in (especially with music on!)

Now the how-to-make the {Little Project Tap Shoes}, and then some ideas of how to use those tapping toes to teach more than just good rhythm.
4 metal washers for each set of shoes.  I got mine at the hardware store for 22 cents each :)
a good length of yarn, string, or elastic to tie them on with.

{Little Project Tip:}  Different sized washers will make a different tones.  To add an extra listening element to your project and listen for a variety of sounds, you may want to choose a variety of washer sizes for your {Little Project Tap Shoes}.

1- Thread the string/elastic through the middle of the washer
2- Now take the end on the left and thread it back through again.
It should look like this:

3- Now take the end on the right and thread it under the washer and back through again also.  It should look like this when you are done:
4- Repeat for each "tap."
5- Then tie your taps to your shoe like this:
That was easy!  Now go stomp around and try them out :)

Here are some ideas for utilizing your {Little Project Tap Shoes:}
Practice counting with each jump. (by 5's, 10's, etc.)
Practice spelling words out loud with each step.  You could even draw letters with sidewalk chalk and walk on them as you go.
Enjoy the SOUNDS you can make.
Make fast sounds...and s l o w sounds.
Make LOUD sounds and quiet sounds.
Practice standing or hoping on one foot.
Work on which foot is Right and which is Left.
"hear" if you are tapping your toes to the beat-a great way to practice this life-altering skill!
Turn on the MUSIC and DANCE to it!

Whether you are wearing real tap shoes or these {Little Project Tap Shoes} they can be slippery! When you are on a very smooth surface-be careful-don't run-and watch your balance.  You can also go with just one tap-see above-instead of two to cut down on the slipperiness.  Also, if your kids walk on your hardwood floors there is always the chance of a scratch.  We've had good luck on vinyl or the driveway though :)

Get a mirror out to have even more fun (or keep it hidden if you are worried about what you will look like) the idea is to enjoy yourself!  I'd love to hear YOUR ideas you have for learning with tap shoes on and I'd love to know how yours turn out.  Have fun tappin'!

Rice Krispie Treats+mix-ins!

We just made (and ate) the yummiest Krispie Fruit Treats. I will never do just "traditional" Rice Krispie Treats again!
Think of vanilla ice cream. Mix-in your favorite fruit...even better right? That is the idea behind these treats that we made from this great kids cookbook I received from the publisher to review with my kids and share with you: Junior Leagues In the Kitchen with Kids: Everyday Recipes & Activities for Healthy Living

****Don't think that just because it's geared so that kids can do the cooking that adults won't like them!  My husband and I ate most of them!****

The Junior Leagues In the Kitchen with Kids Cookbook is where we got this fantastic way to make these rice cereal treats even tastier, and healthy too! 

Want to know the secret? 

Add some dried fruit into your recipe. The cookbook suggests dried blueberries and sunflower seeds-yum! What a great way to add some great nutrition into a recipe that kids can make and will love to eat!  Any dried fruit would be tasty!

I'm a fan of following recipes, but when I smelled those yummy craisins and raisins going into ours I just had to add some chocolate too to give it just a little bit of the chocolate covered fruit taste.  I added around 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips....yum!  {Little Project Tip:} If you add the mini chocolate chips do it last and don't stir too much.  Otherwise the chocolate melts and you will get brown treats.  I can imagine the dried mangos from Costco being sooo delicious in this recipe too!  

The favorite part for my kids?  To make it even more kid-friendly (my kids are 3 and 1 year old) we put the margarine and marshmallows into a glass microwaveable bowl for around 2 minutes.  They LOVE watching them expand and "grow" in the microwave.  No stove to get burned on and they can stir them together with the crispy rice cereal with just a little help afterwards.

Another great idea from the Junior Leagues In the Kitchen with Kids Cookbook is this:
Cut your treats out with a cookie cutter.  We are liking elephants around here lately and the bits of fruit are fun to make a face with.

We have had a great time trying out recipes in the In the Kitchen with Kids Cookbook. It is full great new recipes and fun twists on the classics as well.  
These recipes are the kind kids like to make and kids like to eat.  The Bonus: adults will like them too and they are healthy recipes (I added the chocolate :).  I can recommend it to you because we've had so much fun cooking with this cookbook and my kids like to eat what we've made too!  It's a great cookbook to have on hand and it helps you "see" what kids really can do to cook in the kitchen.
  Enjoy adding healthy dried fruits and other yummy mix-ins to your Krispie Treats too!

For more {Little Project Tips} of how to let your kids help in the kitchen, check out Survival Tips for Kid Friendly Cooking. There are also more fun things to do with your kids in the kitchen in the "Fun with Food" left sidebar link. Enjoy cooking with your kids!

Friday Favorites and Freebies

Happy Friday to you!  I hope you find something to fit your fancy!

Don't forget about your free chocolate :)

Neat idea: Sweaters to seat covers here!

Find the way to make the perfect food coloring here (via Tipnut)

It's hard to believe that school will be starting again soon.  Mine are too little to go yet (thank goodness!) but if you are getting ready to send yours off you will want to check out some great ideas for getting them ready here.  I especially love the ideas of setting some traditions like remaking a backpack and a fun way to make it extra special for the Moms too.

The cutest alphabet crayons (you can make)! For crayon recycling without these special molds, look here.

After they finish their artwork frame it in one of these printable frames.

From the invention box: recycled stitching

This Little stitching Project has been on my mind for awhile and we finally tried it out today. All of the materials for this stitching project came from one of our favorite places: "the invention junk box," which means they were all recycled things.  If you are wondering what an invention junk box is, check this out.

We recycled the red plastic "holed" cover from a box of clementines, but any "holed" material would work.  We have some from a bag of onions we bought, and also from a bag of potatoes.  Next time you pick up some produce keep your eye out.  Tulle can also be used.

*Materials: reused "holed" material,  hoop, yarn, chenille stem.

You can make a kid-friendly needle with your chenille stem by bending it and securing it to hold the yarn like this:
 I saw this idea somewhere on the web a few months ago and can't remember where.  If you know PLEASE let me know so I can give them credit for this great idea!  UPDATE: Croq Zine is the author of this great needle trick-go see what they made too!

With large holes you have to tie a really big knot or just go up through and then down in the next hole a few times to secure the end for your child.

Jay hasn't had a lot of lacing activities so I helped hold it so he could see if he should go "up" or "down" next.

He kept asking me what it looked like to me....?

After we finished that one I used a cookie cutter and a sharpie marker to make a pattern for him to lace over:
He loved it.
Easy, fun, educational, recycled.  That's my kind of project :)  I hope you enjoy lacing and stitching with materials you have around the house or from your own invention/junk box too!

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