I’m Obsessed with Flubber!

Happy day after the feast! I hope you all were able to partake in the joyful celebration of Thanksgiving, not only eating but actually taking time to consider what we have to be thankful for. I know I have so much to be thankful for this beautiful season. And of course one of the things I’m grateful for is the time I get to spend with Penny and Jude. They bring so much joy to my life.

Now I know I have talked about flubber a lot on this blog and I promise that after this post I will be done talking about it… for now. ūüôā If you keep up with my blog you know that at the beginning of November I was finally able to successfully make flubber. And since then the kids have LOVED it! Honestly they love playing with flubber and that is why I am writing about it again. It is by far the most successful craft the kids and I have made together simply because we keep using it week after week. The little girl, Amy, that my mom watches is obsessed with it! Last week I announced that after cleaning up the dress up clothes we were going to play with flubber and her reaction was her jumping up and down as much as a little two year old could screaming, “It’s so squishy! It’s so squishy! It’s so squishy!” Honestly she did that the entire time it took for Penny and Jude to clean up the costumes.

The kids will play with it for hours on end. It has way more playability for them than play dough ever has. Even little Amy has played with it for two hours straight. When have you ever heard of a non sleeping two year old, or three year old or four year old for that matter, sit still and play with a single thing for two hours straight?! The love that these kids have for flubber is unheard of! Flubber has given me so much time to do things like cook, clean, and do homework that I don’t know how I nannied without it for so long! And it’s so cheap to make there really is no reason not to have a batch laying around for when you need some time without screaming and crying.

wpid-20141113_101920.jpgThe only thing I have to say about flubber that is bad is don’t let it get in the kids hair! Penny and I learned this one the hard way. I was cleaning up the kitchen when she panickingly called me into the sunroom. I didn’t first understand her panic until she turned her head and I saw the huge gob of flubber entangled in her hair. I was thankfully able to get it out but it did take some time and effort. And it was a little painful for her sensitive scalp. After I got it out I told her and the other kids not to put it near their hair and we haven’t had a problem since. So as long as you make sure the kids don’t put it in their hair this craft is pretty much priceless. It is a must have for me now.

Ok my over load of posts on flubber is now over! If you want to make you own batch click here. Once again I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are ready to get into the Christmas season! I know I am! Have a great weekend everyone, I will be back next week with a winter themed craft for kids.

The One About Cake

This week Penny and Jude are away for Thanksgiving and so I sadly will not be seeing them, therefore no craft for the week. Even though the kids aren’t around I will still be posting this week, and today it is about cake! Busy Day Cake to be exact. I know I mentioned this cake in my post when the kids and I made pumpkin butter, and now I want to tell you more about it.

Busy Day Cake, by the wonderful Betty Crocker, is a life saver. Plus¬†it is super inexpensive to make! I cannot tell you how many times I have used the recipe. I finally had to find it online and pin it so that I could have the recipe wherever I go. I’ve made it when I have simply had a craving for cake, with the kids for fun, in a pinch when I realized I needed to make a cake for someone, and every other excuse I have ever come up with to make a cake.

The recipe itself is super simple, and you can add pretty much anything to it to liven it up. In the past I have added cocoa powder to turn it into a chocolate cake, chocolate chips for much the same reason, apples and cinnamon for a fall flair, and berries for a sweet summery taste. I have also baked the original recipe many times and gotten compliments on the flavor.

Now that you know how much I love this recipe I am going to tell you about one of my successes with it and the only failure I have ever had with it. First off, the success. Now sadly I don’t have any pictures of my successful cakes other than the one my friend Hannah and I made for the pumpkin butter so I’ll tell you about that one. We went with the original recipe because we thought it would go well with the flavors ing the butter. Even with the kids running around wild we were able to throw the cake to together no problem. It is honestly the easiest homemade cake recipe, it rivals box mix in ease. The cake came out beautiful and when paired with the pumpkin butter it was divine! My mouth is actually watering thinking about it…¬†20141009_155733

I have now shown you how easy it is to make, even with kids. I’ve really set myself up badly for this next story. It was the weekend so I didn’t have the kids, I had had a craving for apple cake all week, and I was supposed to go over my friend’s house in the afternoon to hangout with him and one of his friends I had never met. I decided that with all those things combined it was the perfect time to bake a quick apple cake. I prep the apples, cutting them up, and added cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of sugar. I then whipped up the batter. I put a nice layer of the apples at the bottom of the pan so that when I flipped it onto the plate when it was cool it would look pretty, and added the rest throughout. I turned on the timer and went about my business. The apples were so juicy that the cake took an extra 30-40 minutes to bake. My friend was texting me because I was supposed to be over his house and I’m never late. The cake finally came out of the over and I put it in a bigger baking pan to transport it, wanting to get to my friend’s house as soon as possible. There are two doors in the front of my house, a glass one and a wooden one. My mom held the wooden one open for me and I pushed the glass one open. The glass door swung back and grazed the corner of the larger baking pan… the pan and cake went flying!wpid-20141018_143401.jpg

I stood in utter shock in my front yard looking down on the mess that was just a second before my beautiful apple cake. My mom came to my rescue. She got spatulas from kitchen and helped me put the cake back in the pan and pick the grass and leaves out. We ended up eating the cake and it was delious! But my friends still ask me if I remember the time I  destroyed the cake, as if I could forget! Well there you have it, I hope you too have enjoyed my cake disaster. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and I will be back on Friday with another story about my time with the kids.

Fox Fun!: Result>Experience

Yesterday Penny, Jude and I tried our hands at making the fox masks I talked about on Tuesday. I’m going to say it right now the result was awesome! Honestly I’m really proud of these masks, they’re really cute and fun. However the whole experience of making the masks was not as fantastic as the end result. Was it worth it? Yes, but I wouldn’t want to repeat the mayhem that was making the masks. So what happened you may be asking, well let me tell you.

wpid-20141120_155302.jpgToday the kids and I were at my house, which was nice in the morning because my sister and friend, Helga, were there so I got to hang out with them. My mom also had kids today she didn’t just have Amy (the little 2 year old) who she usually has but she also had Amy’s brother, James (5 years old), and two sisters Beatrice (5 years old) and Jenny (3 years old). It was a full house, to say the least! Plus Penny’s school had different times this week so she was home to eat lunch and nap with her brother by 11:45 am. So with all the kids and the changed school drop off and pick up times my head was swimming a little bit. Penny took a long time to fall asleep so she was still out when the rest of the kids got up from their rests and wanted something to do. I knew I had to make the mask with Jude, but I also knew the rest of the kids would want one too. I told my mom she was going to have to handle their masks. So Jude and I started out and it was going ok. I had found a template for a mask on pinterest, and it was good I just resized the width and eye hole so they fit him better. We cut out the mask, I cut out the mask he made jokes with the girls, and the little ears. I only had regular glue so I glued on the ears so they would dry while Jude and I colored in the mask. I used a pen to mark where I wanted to use the marker to be safe and then went over the pen lines with a sharpie. Every once in a while Jude would put his hand on top of mine but for the most part it was me working alone on the mask. It was while I was coloring the white around the eyes that the other kids started demanding my attention, Beatrice wanted the white marker I was using, James wanted to know how to spell the word Jewish, and my mom was having trouble following my instructions. I calmed the storms and went back to my coloring. Around this time Penny woke up and I quickly get her an apple and went back to my work. I finished the coloring, handed over my marker, and threaded the yarn through the sides of the mask. The result, ADORABLE!

wpid-20141120_162214.jpgNow I had to do it all over again. Penny took one look at her brother’s mask and wanted her own right away! I quickly found my little fox who was in his den, the stairwell, growling, and took his mask from him to use as an advanced template to save me some time and effort. I speedly traced out the new mask and gave the mask back to Jude who ran off back to his den. At this time my mom needed me to coach her through attaching the yarn to James’ and Beatrice’s masks. I gave instructions while cutting Penny’s mask out. Luckily I didn’t need to glue on ears and so after cutting it our I could get right to the job of outlining where the white would go. Penny wanted to do the coloring herself and so even though I wanted it to come out perfectly I told her what colors went where and sat back. I have to say she did a good job. By this time I could hear “What Did The Fox Say?” playing in the other room as Jude, James, Amy, and Beatrice danced around in their masks. Penny¬†finished up her mask, adding polka dots. I threaded the yarn through her mask and voila we were done! It was an exhausting craft but the result is so cute that I can’t help smiling even now. Try these masks out, but just do it when there are less kids present or more adults! Have a great weekend everybody!

How can these faces not make you smile?!
How can these faces not make you smile?!

“The Fox Face”

There’s this thing that my sister does when she is around to hangout with me and the kids, she makes this fox face. Well she and the kids call it a fox face I don’t really see the resemblance but it’s funny no matter what. Anyway the kids love the “fox face” and try to make it themselves. Jude also loves all things animals, he has a huge fish tank in his room with fish named “Beautiful Fish” “Kissy Fish” “Handsome Fish” and more that I can’t remember. Penny doesn’t love animals as much, but they both LOVE the song “What does the Fox Say?” We have had many a dance party with this song making an appearance, they have often asked for it by name. And so this week the kids and I will be making fox masks.

From Handmade Charlotte
From Handmade Charlotte

I originally found this diy craft on Pinterest, however the blog that it originated from, Handmade Charlotte, is really cute. The mask was part of a larger post on crafts that you could do using the fall theme, such as leaf crowns. The instructions are a little vague so I might be doing a little guess work while making this craft with the kids. Even though the instructions might be vague, I think that I will be able to figure out how to make these and if I am able to pull it off the result will be worth it. The mask are super cute and I feel like the kids will love playing with them. As Penny and Jude are incredibly imaginative I can see them putting these masks on and playing for a long time!

The items needed for this craft are almost all items I keep around my house, so that is convenient and I love being able to save on crafts. I’m going to need a brown paper bag or two, white and black markers, elastic cord (but I’m going to use yarn), glue stick, a mask template (I’ll either find one or make it up), and scissors. I love crafts that utilize household items because it makes them that much easier.

So what could go wrong? Hmmm well, last week I forgot the yellow gloves for my craft and that was almost a disaster, sorry I forgot to tell you about that, so I could forget a vital item at my house that I will need to make the mask like the brown paper bags and not be able to find one around the house. The kids could be uninterested like last week. Colds could persist. Tears and snot could rain down on the table. A fight could break out. Flesh could be sliced with the scissors while my back is turned, they maybe kiddie but that doesn’t mean they’re completely dull! I might not be able to find a mask template and completely botch the shape or eye holes.

However I am going to choose to believe that this craft is going to go off marvelously! I believe optimism is key to getting things done and being happy while it is getting done. That’s what being a nanny has taught me anyway. Well if you want to know how these fox mask turn out check back in on Friday. And since I mentioned it earlier enjoy the song!

Minion Fingers

It’s the end of the week and it is time for my favorite post of the week, not only because it signifies almost the end of my work and school week, the results post! This week was a bit rough for the kids and I because Jude and I both have a fierce cold and Penny has a strong case of the sniffles that is threatening to become as fierce of a cold as Jude and I have had. Because of all the tissues, snot, coughing, and tears (of Jude’s not mine! Ok maybe I shed a fews tears, but that has everything to do with me just finishing a good book and not the cold.) none of us had the true enthusiasm we usually have while making our crafts.

After forcing myself off the couch and away from the warm blanket I tried to convince them, and myself a little bit, that making these puppets would be more fun than watching another show. I ignored the protests and put on what they call minion music, music from the movie, and thought we would all make the puppets together. However they were more interested in watching the music videos from the movie on the Ipad than helping me and I realized that if these puppets were going to come out looking at all like minions I was going to need to focus so I let them watch the music videos while I drew little faces on the yellow gloves. It was a fairly quiet craft, me sitting at the table willing these yellow gloves to transform into little minion puppets, and the kids sitting next to me hoarsely laughing at the minions dancing on the screen.wpid-20141114_094844.jpg

I finished drawing the faces on the gloves and cut the fingers off of the gloves, all without the kids really noticing. Once they were finished they finally took notice of the little minion like things laying on the table. Happy that they were finally showing some enthusiasm I placed one minion on each of their little fingers. Their faces light up and it felt really good. After posing for a few photos they told me they wanted to do a puppet show. I was happy feeling slightly like a super nanny by inspiring their imaginations.They climbed into their little castle and I stationed myself back on the couch with the blanket. Sadly the puppet show was incredibly short! It probably lasted all of three or four minutes.

Forgive the mess in the background!
Forgive the mess in the background!

Even though this craft was a success in that I was able to pull off drawing minion faces and Penny and Jude played with them, I was disappointed in the end result. I thought the kids would be more enthusiastic about the puppets and want to play with them longer. Of course if we hadn’t all been sick or it had just been a different day this craft might had ended in a more satisfactory way for me. So I’m calling this craft a success, and perhaps on another day they will end up playing with the puppets for longer, at least now we have them. If you want to try these finger puppets out for yourself heres the link and let me know how they turn out! And if you for some strange reason want to read even more of my thoughts while I was making them see the picture below. Alright well until next week, have a great weekend!Screenshot_2014-11-15-19-36-42

Despicable Fingers

This is going to be a fun week! As you may have been able to gather from the title of this post this week Penny, Jude, and I will be making something that has to do with Despicable Me. What we will be doing is making finger puppets. They look super cute and fun. The kids LOVE Despicable Me and so I can only imagine that when I tell them what we will be doing they are going to freak out! But before I get into all of that let me give you a little of the back information for this craft. I, of course, originally found this craft on pinterist and followed it to the blog it originated from. The brilliant mom that came up with these little yellow trouble makers is Paging Fun Mums! Her blog is fantastic, I will definitely be trying out some of her other crafts in the future. Anyway I found this idea back in September while I was having a marathon pinterest session, immediately I thought that the kids would love doing this and I really hope that is the case.

The semester is coming to a close for me, I have about a month left, and so I am starting to work on all my final projects and I am getting exhausted. Winter break is looking really good right now. For these reasons I really need this craft to go over well with Penny and Jude. It’s not that they are incredibly difficult or anything it’s simply that my brain is tired and if these minion finger puppets don’t go over well I am going to have to figure something else to do on the fly and the thought of that makes me even more exhausted!photo-100-copy-4

Ok so that was my moment of “poor me college studentness” thank you for bearing with me. Now let’s talk about these finger puppets! They look easy enough to prep for and make. The only supplies you need are yellow dishwashing gloves, scissors, and a black sharpie. You draw the faces on the fingers of the gloves, with the sharpie, and then cut the fingers off the gloves to fit the little fingers they will be going on. And that’s it! Simple right?! Or are they…

I’m going to be honest with you, I am not good at drawing, like sometimes stick figures are challenging. And so the first disaster that I thought could happen when considering this craft was that I myself without help from the kids would botch this one up royally! I mean honestly this is a real concern, I could totally not be up to the challenge of drawing minion faces on these gloves. They could end up looking awful! But there are also other things that could go wrong, Penny or Jude could grab the scissors, while I am focusing all my attention on not messing up the project, and cut themselves or each other. An eye could be gouged out for goodness sake! As always a fight could break out, resulting in privileges being taken away. Or so many more things could happen, but this is depressing me and so I’m going to end this post saying that everything is going to work out perfectly. Check in on Friday to see is my dream or nightmare comes to reality. Of and here’s a minion video to brighten up your day!

Flubbery Victory!

wpid-20141106_152128.jpgVictory! Success! Triumph! Validation! Redemption! Ladies and Gentlemen I have done it! I have successfully made flubber with the kids. It was glorious! I honestly danced around the house. I felt like a super hero, Super Nanny! I didn’t realized before this week exactly how much successfully making flubber would mean to me. After the first attempt and failure I knew that I would try it again at some point, but I didn’t realize the effect attempting again would have on me. Usually I’ll decide what I am going to do with Penny and Jude, write the first blog post about it, buy the stuff, and then forget about it until Thursday when I actually do it with them. That was not the case this week; I thought about flubber all week, even though I bought the borax on Tuesday I still was worried about the outcome of trying to make flubber again. I thought about it in class, in the car driving to and from school, and even on the bus on my way to class my thoughts were preoccupied with flubber. What if once again it didn’t work? And so when we finally made it Thursday afternoon and it was a success I couldn’t contain my excitement! I danced around the house. I played it with the kids. I continued to go back and play with it all afternoon while I was supposed to be cleaning, I couldn’t resist having the stuff in my hands. It became slightly obsessive I will admit.

Okay so I guess I should tell you about a little more than my personal vindication through successfully making something for children to play with, called flubber. After posting on Tuesday and finishing my homework for the day I went out with my friend Daisy in search of the mythical substance known in the detergent aisle as Borax. The stars were aligned, we found borax at the first store we went to. As I mentioned above flubber slipped into my thought a lot over the following two days. wpid-20141106_150751.jpg

Thursday Penny didn’t have school so we didn’t have the time restraint in the morning. Our freed up schedule and having watched a couple clips of So You Think You Can Dance made a dance party a must have. We danced for almost two hours!By the time I realized what time it was there wasn’t enough time to try and make flubber before lunch and nap time. My heart sunk a little when I realized the waiting was going to have to continue a little bit longer. After nap time was over the waiting was over. It was once again time to make flubber. Penny helped me mix the glue, cold water, and food coloring together. Jude helped me mix the borax and the hot water together and then blend the two mixtures together. There was a moment while I was pouring and stirring the glue mixture into the borax mixture that I didn’t think it was going to work, but then it did! It was a beautiful moment when I realized that I had successfully made the flubber!¬†wpid-20141106_152140.jpg

The kids played with it until their mommy got there, almost 2 hours later. I would say that when you actually have the right ingredients this recipe for flubber is a good one. Just a word from the wise do not put it on fabric, it was very hard to get off! Well I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and take advantage of this tested recipe, until next time.

The Pinning Nanny

Flubber Again?!

Original recipes comes from Schelastic Education Center.
Original recipes comes from Schelastic Education Center.

I believe that it is time to try and redeem myself from the flubber fiasco. If you haven’t read my post about the last time I tried to make flubber and are curious click here. This week I am going to try and make flubber with the kids, again. I feel like enough time has passed since my last failed attempt and this time I have done my research, I have a list of three stores that say that they have Borax in stock. If needed I will be traveling to multiple stores in search of the secret ingredient, and will not stop until I have acquired it! I am on a mission, I must redeem myself, and especially after last week’s almost disaster with the Spooky Bones I feel like now is the time to prove to myself and you faithful readers that flubber is something that I can make.

Alright so here’s the plan: today after I finish an acceptable amount of homework I am going to hit the pavement in search of the elusive secret ingredient to the success of making flubber. As I said before I am prepared to go to each of the three stores in my area that profess to have Borax in stock, and if need be get every shelf stocker and manager in each place search out its hiding place. Today I will not be taking no for an answer! And then come Thursday, with the magical Borax in hand, the kids and I will make the most perfect batch of borax that has ever been created.

I imagine that once I have obtained the box of powdered magic the rest of my week will go by without a hitch. Classes will be easy and enjoyable, homework will seemingly do itself, and all my other responsibilities will be a breeze. This perfect week of course includes when Penny, Jude, and I go to actually make the flubber. I see us having a lovely calm morning on Thursday culminating in when I announce that we will be making flubber. They will be filled with excitement but will still be able to control themselves and not start fighting over who can help me first, they will be the perfect little helpers. Pandora will playing only songs that the kids and I love while we precisely measure out the ingredients and mix them up. The chemical reaction will be magnificent! The ingredients will come together in a spectacular fashion and the result will be a bowl full of fluffy, squishy, colorful, and perfectly playful flubber. Penny and Jude will play with it for the rest of the morning and want to play with it again after nap, while the whole time I am doing a victory dance. The taste of victory will be so sweet, I will not even notice as the rest of the day flies by!

If you want to know exactly how magically my next attempt at making flubber with the kids will be check back in Friday afternoon. I promise to give a full account of the perfection that will be the day…