Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CraftasticTV: Halloween Paper Plate Silhouettes

#Halloween #Crafts via My Very Educated Mother

I’m getting in more screen time with a craft I actually made last year for Kids Craft 1-2-3 magazine. It’s a Halloween project that’s super easy (I’ll say that a good million times in the video) and perfect to make with the kids!

In case you missed it here is the supply list. Be sure to also stop by CraftasticTV for more projects like this one.

Supplies Needed:
2 paper plates (any size)
black and yellow paint
double-sided tape
@mvemotherErin - My Very Educated MotherErin on Google +MyveryeducatedmotherMy Very Educated MotherImage Map

Monday, September 15, 2014

Glow In the Dark Spider Web Earrings and a Giveaway

Guess what? I’m a video brand ambassador for AdTech! I know what you’re thinking; what does this mean and who is AdTech? What it means is I’ll be sharing more glue gun projects and hosting a number of Hangouts On Air where I’ll be crafting live! As for AdTech they are THE glue gun people: hot glue, cool glue, foam glue, low temp/high temp, designer guns, you name it, they’ve got it in spades! But that’s not all, they also offer spiffy dot glue runners!

#HalloweenCraft Glow in the Dark Spider Web Earrings

I’ve been playing (mostly coveting) the goodies they sent, thinking of all the projects I want to share and when I spied the Glow In The Dark sticks I knew I wanted to make some kind of jewelry with them. Since Halloween is right around the corner why not a set of spider web earrings?

*Be sure to read the entire post – giveaway info is at the bottom!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kids Crafts: DIY Dragonfly

Did you know that dragonflies have been on Earth for over 300 million years and once had a wingspan of over 2 ½ feet?  The fastest recorded insect, their four wings allow them to fly in any direction, hover, and reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.  That’s an amazing feat for such a small creature!

Here's a fun dragonfly craft you can make with your kids, it's fast, easy, and looks awesome on a bedroom wall! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mythology Lesson 1: The 12 Labors of Hercules

A homeschooling co-op can offer the opportunity to teach a lesson better suited for a group, it can also mean you get the group rate on your next field trip, or it can simply be an afternoon break when we let someone ELSE be in charge of lessons. Whatever it is, I highly recommend becoming a part of one.

For nearly two years we've been active members of a local group. Though our size fluctuated we are a relatively small group who meet 12 weeks out of the semester so we try to keep things light and fun, but still informative. When it's my turn to teach I tend to stick to Art themes because it's what I'm comfortable with, but this semester I've branched out and let the kids decide. Much to my delight they chose a semester of Mythology!

Mythology Lesson: The 12 Labors of Hercules #Homeschooling #lessons #mythology

Mythology can be so much fun and since it's a topic even public schools tackle I figured I'd find a ton of free projects and resources online...I was mistaken. While I did find many things few of them were free and even fewer were more than a retelling of the various stories. Thankfully I stumbled along MythWeb, in particular their MythWeb's Heroes Page. It's a simple enough page that provides a quick and easy reading of various myths and if you venture to their Teacher's page they have a listing of various lesson ideas.

Considering the trouble I had finding free ideas I thought I'd share what we came up with using this resource as well as one other. Here's the breakdown of our 3-part lesson on the 12 Labors of Hercules.

1. Read the story. We hooked the laptop to a tv and used the mythweb site but any book or reference could be used.

2. Discussion. Sometimes it's hard to know where to go with a discussion, especially when you have all ages. So I used the bullet points of this articles about the life lessons of Hercules as a starting place. Be sure to get the kids IS a discussion after all. Ask them leading questions. Do they have a similar experience they can relate it to? Do the ancient lessons still ring true today?

3. Older Group: Round Robin Writing Exercise. This is pretty self-explanatory, the older kids broke into groups of three and spent 15 minutes writing their own hero stories.

3. Younger Group: Grecian Urns. This is such an easy project while also giving the younger ones a chance to craft their own tales of heroism via the images they drew. Here's a quick run down of how to make your own Urn.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

CraftasticTV: Felt Straw Flowers

The past six months have been filled with new adventures, one of which is Craftastic TV!  It's a new site spotlighting crafty videos from a collection of creative folks and I'm going to be regular contributor! For my first project I'm sharing how to make these quick and easy felt straw flowers.

It doesn’t take much to turn a few sheets of felt into a fun and colorful flower you can incorporate into your next decorating or DIY project. With a stack of scraps, and not quite an hour, this old wreath was brought out of retirement and transformed! Best of all, since all the supplies are craft stash staples, it didn’t cost a thing!

Supplies Needed
• Felt
• Fabric glue
• Scissors

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Freezer Meals: Mexican Lasagna

For so long I’ve pinned and pined over posts featuring freezer meals. I don’t know a mother who wouldn’t want to approach every evening with an answer to that age old question, “What’s for dinner?” Many times I’ve decided I’m going to give it a try. I make out the grocery list and try to set aside an afternoon to do the prep work, but my plans fall through, something else comes up, or I just get lazy. Let’s face it, this level of organization isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes real effort and dedication.

This year we have a particularly heavy weekday schedule filled with extra curriculars. Looking at the calendar and realizing there was just one night every two weeks when we’d all be home I knew it was time to start revisiting the idea of freezer meals and meal planning. Now, I haven’t actually mapped out all our meals, but I have started to create recipes I think my family will enjoy, that can be frozen, and easily prepared. This is the first of what will hopefully become a regular thing.

There are only a few meals that get absolutely no complaints in our house and burrito night is one of them. I wasn’t ready to attempt making and freezing many burritos so instead I took the freezer classic, lasagna, and gave it a south of the border twist!

Mexican Lasagna (makes 2 trays)

Meat Mixture

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 yellow/red/orange pepper
  • 1 small onion, 1/4 cup diced
  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

Cheese Mixture

  • 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 cups of Rotel, undrained

Everything Else

  • 1 box No-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups of Cheddar cheese
  • 2 jars of salsa, your choice, I prefer the less chucky variety
  • 2 aluminum baking trays, I used ones similar to a 9”x13” cake pan
  • shredded lettuce

To begin brown your ground beef, drain off excess fat and set aside. In same skillet sweat the peppers and onion until they have softened. It’s important to note, when you’re sweating peppers don’t put the heat too high, you want them softened so the sweetness comes out, not charred. Mix the meat, peppers and onion, and beans together and set aside.

meatmixture for #freezermeal #Mexicanlasagna

Blend the cream cheese and sour cream together with the Rotel. The mixture will be soupy and look unappetizing, it’s okay. You’ll need that liquid later to cook the noodles while they bake.

cheese mixture for #Mexicanlasagna #freezermeal #mealplanning

Before you start layering be sure to spread a little bit of salsa into the bottom of each baking tray. Putting three noodles across I began layering noodles, meat mixture, noodles cheese mixture, noodles. Atop that last layer of noodles I generously spread salsa and topped each tray with a cup of each cheese.

layeringlasagna #recipes #freezermeals #Mexicanlasagna

Wrap everything up tightly with foil and put it in the freezer. YOU MUST THAW THE MEAL AT LEAST 24 HOURS BFORE BAKING. Is it sad to admit I was slightly annoyed I couldn’t just stick it straight into the oven? I mean, I guess you can try but it will take a lot longer to bake and according to a couple pasta company website the noodles won’t taste as good. So, take that one extra step and pop it into the fridge the night before.

Bake the thawed dish at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Go ahead and let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with shredded lettuce (got to get some greens!) or a nice side salad.

#freezermeals #Mexicanlasagna