I’m a Bad Blogger

So, I’m a bad blogger. I have been so caught up in finishing all my final assignments for the semester hat I completely forgot to blog. I have been like a homework and nannying robot. Honestly the last few weeks it never once crossed my mind that I needed to find a craft or activity or do with the kids unless it was along the lines of “Let’s play outside.” or “I’m freaking out over homework so let’s have a dance party.” I feel doubly guilty because not only have I not been blogging, but I haven’t been a very exciting nanny. For example this morning Penny had a field trip so she went to school earlier than usual and so Jude and I had the morning to ourselves. And do you want to know what we did with the first 40 minutes of that time? I put Sonic the Hedgehog on the T.V. Jude sat on my lap, and I fell asleep! I woke up when he was snuggling down after the show was over. Not my finest moment as a nanny. I was able to redeem myself a bit by playing cars and trains with him afterwards but yeah, I haven’t been my fun and creative nanny self lately. On the bright side, classes are over, three of my five final papers are submitted, and my only final exam is done. With only two papers to write over the next 12 days I can already for see more crafting happening in the weeks to come. So here’s to summer and more fun activities with my two favorite kids! Have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon!

~The Pinning Nanny

Rainbows Welcome Spring!

First of all happy first day of spring everyone! This day has come after a very snowy winter, and so of course we are welcoming spring in with another 3-6 inches of it… Don’t get me wrong if you have read any of my other posts you know I have a deep love for snow, but this past week was just so warm and sunny! Alright well anyway that’s not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about how much fun Penny, Jude, and I had making our St. Patrick’s Day rainbows.

wpid-20150316_162226.jpgAfter nap time, I cut out all the paper strips while Jude ran around like a mad man and Penny ate her snack. Jude wasn’t interested in anything other than expelling his energy and I let him run wild while Penny and I made the rainbow chains. I was impressed with how little help Penny needed from me. She practically made the whole chain herself, I only had to hand her the tape. She really enjoyed making them with me and Jude loved the finished product so I call that a success! And then we made one really big one which they both helped me with, and by help I mean that when it started getting long they held it while I continued to make it. No matter what it was a fun activity. The only thing that didn’t make it perfect was that I couldn’t find any string so we had to wait until their mom came home to attach the pots of gold to the ends.

wpid-20150316_163546.jpgThe rainbow chains are so bright and colorful I would say make them even though St. Patrick’s Day has past because they look fun and whimsical, just forgo the pot of gold at the end. Looking at them is making me smile even now, as it is snowing outside… Have a bright and beautiful first weekend of spring everyone, even if you have to get creative as I will.

~The Pinning Nanny

Friday Failure

So this week I failed. As I said on Wednesday’s post, which should have been on Tuesday, school started up again this week plus my friend that I have know since I was a baby is moving across the country to California and leaving Sunday morning. It is a slight understatement to say that my mind hasn’t been focused on making crafts with Penny and Jude. So today I regretfully have to say I didn’t do the snow dough with them. I was supposed to do it this morning with them but I woke up and completely forgot to bring the corn starch and lotion to make it with me to their house. This week has showed me that since my school schedule is different this semester my blogging schedule is also going to have to change. I will be thinking about how I can fit the blogging and crafting in somehow over the weekend and let you all know next week. I love doing this so much and so I just have to figure out how I will feasibly be able to keep posting every  week. I will keep you posted!

~The Pinning Nanny

It Was a Bit of a Fixer Upper

Yesterday Penny, Jude, and I made the Frozen flubber. The whole process of it wasn’t as easy as singing one of the songs from the movie that’s for sure. I actually had a bunch of moments when I didn’t think this flubber was going to come together.

wpid-20150115_162910.jpgOn Wednesday my friend Lily needed to borrow my car for a babysitting job, but she was going by the store with borax so I told her as long as she got me borax and glue it was fine. I thought that borax and glue were the only two items I didn’t have in my possession, I thought wrong. At dinner I asked where she had put my blue and white glitter after using it to make a New Year’s sign. She told me that she had left it in our friend Paige’s room, a room notorious for swallowing needed objects. This is when I started worrying that the Frozen flubber might not come together, without glitter it would just be blue flubber. Now I didn’t have my car so I couldn’t go in search of the needed glitter, I called Paige and asked her to look for it and let me know if she found it. Thursday morning arrived, I had the kids but no glitter. I decided to hold off making the flubber until after school and nap time in hopes that by some miracle I would have the glitter by then. Instead of making flubber we spent the morning outside and it was fun, but in the back of my head I kept thinking about the missing glitter.

wpid-20150115_163531.jpgBy the time I dropped Penny off at school I still hadn’t heard from Paige. Then like Disney magic Paige called me while Jude was napping, she had found the glitter! I told her I would pick it up at I got Penny from school. Paige only lives about 5 minutes from Penny’s school it was easy enough for me and the kids to go get it and return home only 15 minutes later than we usually did. I put Penny to bed and played with Jude for close to 2 hours. Then I realized that if I actually wanted this craft to happen it was going to have to happen now. Jude and I set up the ingredients,bowls, and the Frozen soundtrack playing. It wasn’t until we had started that I looked into my box of food coloring and realized that I was out of blue food coloring, a quick look in the kitchen told me that they didn’t have any either. Luckily glitter and white glue still look like snow and I was able to play it off to a three year old that we didn’t need food coloring because snow is white. Penny woke up just as we were finishing up making the flubber. Together they played with the flubber until their mom got home 30 minutes later, and I got to tidy up the house.

It wasn’t the magical easy experience that I was expecting but it did turn out nice in the end. Today they were playing with it again and Penny said that this was the best flubber ever! So I guess even though my experience wasn’t perfect it all turned out well because the kids were happy. So anyway have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week.

~The Pinning Nanny

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.

Burnt Spooky Bones

Happy Halloween everyone! First I have to say I simply loved Dan from Weekly Waves guest post earlier this week if you haven’t read it you should. It really inspired me to try to make this weeks activity extra fun. As today is Halloween I really wanted to do a fun seasonal themed activity with the kids. The spooky bones seemed like the perfect simple activity…

Dan predicted one thing right, I burnt the white chocolate… TWICE! I am very used to working with regular chocolate but white chocolate is a completely different thing. It doesn’t melt like regular chocolate melts, it goes from being a little mushy to being lumpy and burnt in a matter of moments. But I am getting ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning.wpid-20141030_094742.jpg

As always Disney Pandora was playing, Penny and Jude were running up and down the hall, while I set out the ingredients we were going to need to make our spooky bones. It was one of the easier set ups, I put the mini marshmallows and the pretzel sticks in two bowls and put them on the table. I then went to melt the white chocolate, this is where I started having problems. I didn’t want to make a huge mess so I opted to melt the chocolate in the microwave. Usually if you put a little chocolate in the microwave melt it a little and then add more you won’t have problems and the chocolate comes out a nice glossy liquid, this is not the case with white chocolate. I played it safe only putting it in for about half a minute at a time to ensure that the chocolate wouldn’t burn. It burnt. I tried again, this time with a makeshift double boiler on the stove. Once again I played it safe and used all my former knowledge of melting chocolate, which I have a good bit of, to melt this batch of white chocolate. I swear I was looking at the pot the whole time and the chocolate went from a solid to a burn lump with no inbetween stage!

Second batch of burnt chocolate.
Second batch of burnt chocolate.

At this point I was frustrated naturally but I knew the show must go on, the kids were expecting to make spooky bones with of without white chocolate. I called the kids to the table and but on the song Dan suggested, Rather Be, and we started attaching mini marshmallows to the ends of the pretzels. After helping the kids figure out how to do it I pulled out my phone and went to google. I was determined to find a way to salvage the chocolate. I found one site that said if you add oil such as olive or canola to the burnt chocolate you can resurrect it. Guess what it worked! With a lot of stirring, oil, and a little heat I was able to bring the chocolate back from the dead.  Before something else happened I quickly got the naked spooky bones that the kids had made and started covering then in the chocolate. Sadly because I had already thrown out half of the burnt chocolate I wasn’t able to cover very many of our bones but gosh darn it I covered as many as I could! Word from the wise when needing to melt white chocolate go get white chocolate that is actually meant to be melted down don’t buy the stuff in the baking aisle, unless you relish the idea of having to fight oil into it. Anyway the project is done, and I don’t think I will be touching white chocolate for a long time. Have a great Halloween!

Our small batch of covered spooky bones.
Our small batch of covered spooky bones.

Flubber Blunder

As I said I was going to do on Wednesday, yesterday the kids and I attempted to make flubber…. It could have ended better. Wednesday night I went out to the store to pick up the borax and glue. I found the glue but could not for the life of me find borax. I looked in the laundry isle, the dish washing isle and a few other random isles just in case. I even asked someone that worked there and they sent me back to the laundry isle saying if they had it that’s where it would be. It appeared that Wegmans did not carry borax, so I quickly  looked up substitutes for borax. I found that corn starch and baking soda can be used as substitutes for borax. I knew there was a chance that the chemical reaction wouldn’t happen without the borax but I was willing to try.

All ready to start
All ready to start

Come Thursday morning I got everything for our project ready. Penny and Jude were so excited to make the flubber. Like I said I was going to do, I had Penny help me mix the first bowl of ingredients and Jude helped me with the second bowl. Then we poured the glue and food coloring mixture in the first bowl into the second bowl which had the baking soda and hot water in it. Nothing happened. No chemical reaction occurred and we were standing there mixing a bowl of pink watered down glue. It wasn’t my finest moment as a creative nanny.20140925_101634

Thinking on my feet I quickly said to the kids “Oh man it didn’t work! Oh well let’s put it in ziplock bags and squish it.” And so with a new plan in place I got the watery pink glue into double ziplocks as quickly as I could. I made a big deal out of how cool it was going to be to squish the stuff around in the bags. They played with the stuff for about ten minutes before Penny realized that it wasn’t really that fun. Luckily she had a great idea, playdough! I brought out the playdough and even pulled out some fall themed cookie cutters to enhance the fun, and they were off! They played with the playdough for almost an hour and I got my wish and had some time to do some homework!20140925_102126What did I learn from this experience? When you are trying to make flubber or anything similar to flubber you actually need to have the correct ingredients to cause the chemical reaction. I told my best friend who is also a nanny about my failed attempt and she simply laughed at me saying of course I couldn’t use baking soda instead of borax. I guess when it comes to the science side of nannying I don’t know everything yet. I am sorry I can’t say whether or not the flubber recipe that I linked in my last post is good or not. Perhaps the kids and I will try the recipe again sometime, when I actually can find borax.