Gingerbread Activities: Playdough

Hi Friends! Long time, no blogging.  But we have had so much fun with our gingerbread playdough that I wanted to pop in and say hi and share this fun {little project} with you.  

These photos were actually taken last year, not long after baby M was born.  He's one now!  It's been a big year for us with a lot of change and a cross country move too!

We had so much fun with our Gingerbread playdough last year, that I made it again this year.  It's a hit again, of course!

Here's the recipe for this yummy smelling playdough: 
(but don't eat it-it doesn't taste good!)

Gingerbread Playdough
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp orange extract {optional}
  1. In a medium saucepan whisk together dry ingredients. Next mix in the water, oil, and orange extract and stir until a thick batter is formed. Cook the mixture over low/medium heat until a thick dough forms. Turn out onto parchment paper and knead until smooth. Makes about 2 cups of dough.

I love having a dollar store cookie sheet (or two!) on hand.  They are the perfect size for little ones and they loved putting their gingerbread "cookies" out on them.

My kids even started a "bakery" to sell their "cookies" and we had all kinds of math fun figuring out what the cost and what the change should be.  Playing is a great way to learn :)


P.S. If you want the secret to EASY gingerbread houses, click here!

Favorite Conference Inspirational Quotes

I'm a quote girl.  I'm also a visual person.  So I love having quotes up to remind me of what I want to be focusing on.

I just printed some new ones from General Conference and wanted to share them here for anyone else who likes great words visualized:

The first 6 quotes are from this site: thisisnick.





I love the quotes over at MckenzieSmith too!

You can find more printable quotes at 30 handmade days.

LDS General Conference Printable Quotes

You can find this one here

There is also a lot of fun to see and print over at

I hope you enjoy these inspirational words too!

Moved In: A Family of Violins

Well, I have good news: we survived our cross-country move and are all moved in!  So I wanted to check-in and share a little project.

I won't dwell on our move because it wasn't a little project at all.  It was a big one.

But, I am loving the music room in our new house.  I found this fun piece of wood on the side of the road and instantly loved it and knew I had to do something fun with it.  I measured it and knew it would be perfect for our violins to hang on.

Jay, Kay and Ellie all play the violin.  (The full-sized violin is mine.)  Little fingers take forever to get their violins out of the case, get the shoulder rest on, bow out, and ready to play.  And then putting them away takes that time all over again.  So "this little project" is saving me over an hour a day!

Our violins are supposed to be stored away from an outside wall.  So this wood with some spacers behind it became the perfect way to save time, store them properly, and it's so fun to see all the pretty violins too!

I attached these String Swings to the wood that holds the violins.  I love that they hold the violins safely and are easy for the kids to use.

It feels nice to get something accomplished, other than packing and unpacking!


Busy: An Update


Well friends, it's been awhile...


But if you had this little guy to distract you, you may not be blogging much either!  

I have a friend who exercises everyday.  She has 8 children.  I asked her what her secret is.  She told me it's her "one thing."  She said it's the one thing that she does everyday.  It's at the top of her list.  She may not shower, she may not cook dinner, but she makes time for her "one thing."  Now, I'm sure she had other things at the top of her list too, like her family.  But I've been thinking about that.

There are only so many "one things" you can have; only so many minutes to wiggle them into.
And ever since Baby M made his appearance, he has been my "one thing" that took the place of writing and sharing here as much as I used to.  It's ok.  It's the "season"we are in.  He's been my hardest baby.  And that's ok.  He's my "little project" right now.

The other "one thing" that has been swallowing up my extra minutes is that we are moving.  Across the country.  It takes an bucketload of time to have your house on the market, look for another house, research the new area, etc.

It's hard to look around at all the "little projects" I made just for our home that won't be apart of our future.  But it's also exciting to think about the future projects in the works.  


Sometime I need to take the time to go back and share the photos of fun "little projects" we have been up to over the last little while.  Here's a sample for today, along with a hope that I can fill in the details soon...

We made Violet Jelly: from violets growing in our own front yard!
It's so pretty!


I've been teaching an Irish Step Dance class for Kay and Ellie and friends.  It has been a blast!


I would love to share more about teaching a 3-year-old music.  I start my children on the violin and piano at age three (at the latest).  Ellie recently graduated from her macaroni box to her real violin!


Outdoors with kids: My little Jay has all kinds of secrets for having fun and learning in the outdoors.  He's always teaching me about the amazing creations we've been given.  Sometime I'll share our favorite field guides and apps that help us explore and learn in the outdoors.


And how to catch and hold butterflies!


Traveling cross country with four little ones: we're doing it twice this summer!


I just got home from a house hunting trip.  Baby M went along and I learned that I will never fly with a baby again without my baby backpack!  I have a baby Ergo carrier and it made life so much easier!  Can you tell Baby M has 2 older sisters?

We put our first offer on "our" house today.  Crossing our fingers and lots of prayers!
Things are going to be busy around here with lots of "little moving projects."  I'll try to pop in now and then.  Thanks for hanging in here with me :)

In the meantime, there's lots of fun little projects in the archive, like:

Top 10 Tips for your Beach Trip

I've been making baby food again

My Favorite Granola that I make every week

A Favorite Treat: Blueberry Lemonade

Watermelon Stamping

How to write a message with the Sun

and more!

WINNER!! Shabby Apple Giveaway!

A big congratulations goes to Shanny, winner of the Shabby Apple $50 gift card!

Check your email for details Shanny!!
The 10% off code for polka dot dresses is good for the rest of the month!
Just use the code: pokadot10off

Peace on {Earth Day} Cupcakes

Each year we have an Earth Day party at our house.
Which means that we need cake.  Of course.  


These yummy cupcakes were preceded by a lesson about the creation of the earth (what more persuasive way is there to talk about why we should take care of the earth than to talk about Who made it and Why it's for us?)

  We also made a "creation art project" and "creation party mix" before the cupcakes, which I will have to share on a later post...
Inspired by these, we decided to make "Earth" cupcakes for our party.  

 I started out with a white cake mix (since the kids were helping with {this little project}.  We divided the batter in half and put blue in half and green in half.
Then we dolloped each color into cupcake liners.
 My sweet friend gave me some darling mini cookie cutters as a birthday gift this year and we decided to use them to showcase some of God's creations on the earth.  

First I cut the tops off of the cupcake.

Then I frosted the "new top" while the kids cut out a shape from the "muffin" part.

Then we replaced the tops.  One bonus of this method: less frosting all over faces and hands!
We also tried some where we cut out the inside of the cupcake and filled it with frosting.

Loving the Earth is wonderful.  We need to be good stewards of the incredible gift we have been given.

But to me, these cupcakes are more like: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

For whatever reason, Jay and Kay have been fighting/teasing/bothering each other like crazy this week.  One night I named these cupcakes "no-contention cupcakes."  They couldn't have one if they were causing contention.  It got their attention.

The next night (we couldn't eat them all at once!) I called them "Peace on Earth" cupcakes.  And the name stuck.  These cupcakes were just the reminder my kiddos needed about what is important.

Makes me want to make these {little} yummies again!

And my {little} boy hit the 5 month mark around Earth Day.  I can't believe it.  Since I haven't been blogging much since his birth, I haven't shared much about him.  He's the sweetest {little by little} major project there ever was!  I'm one lucky mommy!

onesie sticker by Purple Possum

In other Earth Day projects, our Cloth Diaper Project is up and going again with Baby M.

And since we're talking of Earth Day and babies, I read this today about children and motherhood and loved it.

(you can see past year's party ideas and Earth Day Projects here)

Also, today is the last day to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway (below)
--don't miss it!

Shabby Apple Giveaway!!

Hi friends, long time no blogging....let's just say that between Baby M arriving and winter bringing sickness here I haven't been around to share the {little} things we've been up to.  

But today is a good blogging day!  I'm here! 

And to celebrate I have a Shabby Apple Giveaway for you!

Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses. 
Just looking through the Shabby Apple Catalog online I am drooling.  I can't get enough of the charming style, the vintage fun, and adventurous photography.  Just "window shopping" feels like a vacation!

Have you seen their Ferris Wheel collection?

Shop Shabby Apple for skirts for women. We offer a great selection of vintage-inspired skirts and other stylish clothes for women.

Seriously fun summer fashion!

Shop Shabby Apple for skirts for women. We offer a great selection of vintage-inspired skirts and other stylish clothes for women.

The other day I was Skyping with my sister (is skyping a verb? If so, I don't know how to spell it!) And she was wearing this very Shabby Apple dress!  She looked fabulous! 
It's cute here, but even better on!

Crisp navy and white stripes and red detailing make this frock perfect for a day at the courts or a summer barbeque.  A mock turtleneck, cap sleeves and pleating at the waist complete the look.  All these details converge with a crisp, woven cotton fabric with a hint of stretch for maximum comfort.

I am a big fan of polka dots, just ask my husband :)  So, naturally I love this polka dot dress.
Shop Shabby Apple for casual and day dresses for women. We offer a great selection of vintage-inspired dresses and other stylish clothes for women.

And to celebrate, I'm giving you a code for 10% off any Shabby Apple polka dot dress!
Just use the code: pokadot10off

I also have a $50 Shabby Apple gift card to giveaway to a lucky reader!
Here is how to enter--be sure to leave a comment for each entry:

2. Go to the Shabby Apple website and tell me what you would get with a $50 gift card.
3. Follow This Little Project (either via email RSS or box on right)
5. Tell me what your favorite "Collection" is at Shabby Apple

The giveaway will close on May 1st at midnight and the winner will be announced May 2nd.

The 10% code is good for one month :)

Butterfly Learning Fun

Originally shared at

We are enjoying a lot of butterfly fun at our house right now.  We rescued a monarch from the middle of the road this past week and have been watching a friend raise some monarchs from egg to chrysalis.  Today I want to share some ideas that go along with that beautiful transformation from caterpillar to butterfly that will get you MOVING and enjoying MUSIC too!


My kids and I have been hanging out at our local butterfly exhibit.  We can't get enough of them...
It's a miracle every time!

This movie shows the transformation of of a butterfly from an egg to a monarch butterfly.  It's perfect to watch before learning and singing the songs below.


 This movie is a song about the life cycle of a butterfly, with pictures.  It's short and easy for young kids to sing.  (Note: usually the "house"a butterfly makes is referred to as a chrysalis and the one a moth makes is a cocoon.) 


We made some fun Butterfly Finger Puppets to fly around the room.


By using pieces from a glove they are easy to make and slip on little fingers.


For directions to make yours, go here.

Here is another song about the butterfly life cycle-no pictures, but the kids would love coloring this one to go with it.  Just cut out each piece and glue to it a popsicle stick and hold it up for each part of the song.


I love this way of acting out the life cycle.  You just need a blanket, some butterfly wings, and some "leaves to eat".  This is a wonderful way to incorporate movement into learning.


 A Snack Craft! is a fun way to do some hands-on learning.  This gummy worm is the caterpillar and then the kids turn him into a butterfly.  For peanut allergies, substitute marshmallow cream for the peanut butter spread. Directions here.


How do you learn about butterflies and the world around you?
I love to hear your ideas!

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