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From the Garden: Chamomile Scones

My Very Educated Mother - Chamomile Scones

A couple of years ago I planted chamomile, hopeful I’d have at least one year’s harvest but doubtful the plants described as sensitive would do much more than that. Hmph, sensitive? Sure. These self-seeding little buggers have taken over parts of my yard.

I’d gathered the flower heads and dried them to make tea but since they’d been sitting in the cabinet since last fall and I still hadn’t used them, I decided to skip the tea and try baking with them instead. Of course I went with scones, because they’re easy and since they’re not too sweet I thought it’d be perfect for the floral flavor. (In my opinion when you mix too much sugar with sweet-smelling flowers it can quickly taste as if you’re eating perfume…yuck.)

The scones turned out really well and I was super happy to see that even the kids liked them. Usually I only get a thumbs up from them if chocolate chips are involved. I hope you like them as well!

Chamomile Scones

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup crushed, dried chamomile (I used my own but I’m sure you could also empty teabags or pick it up in a health food store, maybe?)


Preheat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a large cookie sheet. Mix all dry ingredients-including the chamomile, cut in the butter. Mix in the yogurt, the dough will be very crumbly. Knead it together as best you can, shape into a circle, and cut into wedges. Place them on the cookie sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes.

My Very Educated Mother - Chamomile Scones cooling
Once removed from the oven put them on a rack to cool. I glazed this batch with a simple powdered sugar/milk/vanilla glaze.

Erin Sipes
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Paper Bag Bird Nests

The simplest supplies usually make the most fun projects when kids are involved, and in this case, one of the quickest. These paper bag bird nests can help you decorate for both Easter and spring and when the season passes recycle them and make more next year! #kidscraft #craftlightning

  • two paper bags
  • scissors
  • glue


First off don’t open the bag all the way, it will make the cutting much easier. Cut all four corners of the bag down to the where the bottom folds up.

@mvemother #paperbag #kidscraft
Then lay out your bag and make additional cuts. Cutting up the bag
Open your bag and then crunch it down a little. Cutting up the bag pt. 2
Flip the bag over, start gluing all the strips to the bottom of the bag, and ignore my ugly nails. Gluing the bag
Once all the strips are glued it should look like this. While you let it dry, cut the other bag into strips and crunch them up, they’re going to be your nest’s filling. Let the bag dry
Once it’s dry it makes a pretty cute little centerpiece. We have this one with some blown out eggs from our own girls I might add, on the dining room table. Paper Bag Bird Nest #craftlightning
And this one ( made with two different sized bags) is on our holiday table. Paper Bag Bird Nest #craftlightning #kidscraft
I easily stayed under the 15 minute time limit, and that was even with little hands doing most of the work! Think you could meet the challenge? Be sure to stop by 30 Minute Crafts or The Country Chic Cottage this week
to see more springtime craft lightning projects!
Erin Sipes
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How to Make Mexican Cascarones How to Make Mexican Cascarones #confettieggs

Cascarones are confetti eggs that have a long history but since the Mexicans were attributed with filling them with confetti, I’m giving them all the credit! These things are fun and so much quieter than the firecracker-esque pop toys my kids always want, so this year I decided to make some of our own.

I know what you’re thinking…where’s the how-to? Come back here at 1 p.m. CST, today, March 15th, and hangout with me as I make a few of these toys LIVE in the final hangout of Easter Hangout Week! See ya then!

If you can’t make it for the live taping be sure to visit my Youtube page and watch the video at your leisure. You’ll also be able to find the recording in my Google+ feed.

Also going on this Friday: 

I'm guest posting over at Love Bakes Good Cakes where I'm sharing one of my absolute favorite things to make when I am in desperate need of some comfort food, Dump Cake!

@mvemother #dumpcake #baking

Erin Sipes
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Homeschool Cubbies (a.k.a. Sanity Savers) #Homeschool Cubbies
Like many other homeschoolers, 80% of our school work happens at the dining room table. When it’s just my 15 year old and me things go smoothly, but when it’s the seven and five year olds, that’s another story all together.

I try to go over the lecture portion of a lesson with one, get them working on their problems or work pages, and then start the lecture with the other. The only problem is they usually just sit there listening to each other’s lessons and nothing gets accomplished OR they look over each other’s shoulder’s correcting, nick-picking, and just being a general annoyance to each other.

Now I know that they benefit from overhearing each other’s work and when I’ve hit a stumbling block with one, the other sometimes chime in and help clear up confusions and whatnot. But when work needs to be done, work needs to be done. So I decided to make cubbies for the two of them. #Homeschool Cubbies1
  • tri-fold display board
  • stencils
  • markers
  • stickers
  • photo corners
  • paper envelopes, I used some like those you can find in old library books
  • maps
  • artwork
  • other educational references #Homeschool Cubbies2

Cut the display board in half; we used one from a previous science project so we already had a nice splatter paint effect going on. ( I watered down tempera paint with water, put it in a spray bottle, and went crazy.) #Homeschool Cubbies3Next be sure to put a name on it! I mean, this is still for school, you better have your name on it!
Now gather up some reference materials you want to be sure to have at the ready like US maps, alphabets, number charts, etc. and get crafty! Decorate your cubbie with the rest of the supplies however you’d like. #Homeschool Cubbies4
I asked the kids to be sure to add the envelope so I could put the occasional surprise in it for them. #Homeschool Cubbies5
This was one of the simplest projects that’s had the biggest impact on our schooling.

What ways do you help the kids stay focused on their work?
Erin Sipes
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Writing a Mission Statement for Your Blog

@mvemother Writing a #blog #missionstatement

I admitted to feeling as if my blog was holding me back and encouraged you to ask the same question I’ve been asking myself, why do I blog? This week I’m writing a blog mission statement.Erin

Why do you need a mission statement?

A mission statement will define your blog’s purpose and subsequently make it easier for you to focus your efforts and attention. When we define our blogs we can determine both the guidelines and boundaries for how we will use it.

How do you write a mission statement?

I don’t have a list of questions you should ask yourself, (I’m sorry but when I get something with questions I tend to look at it as a test and my need to succeed kicks in; instead of writing what is really on my mind I write what I think others want to see.) instead I’m going to suggest a writing project.
Get a blank sheet of paper and give yourself 5 minutes to free write what you want your blog to do, who you want it to impact, and the mark you want to leave on the digital world. Remember this is not a to-do list! Just write! It doesn’t have to make sense; it can be incomplete thoughts. All that really matters is that it comes from a place of HONESTY. If you want your blog to make you rich and famous, write it down. No one has to see what you write and no one has to see your final mission statement. This is for you.

Look at what you’re written. REALLY LOOK AT IT. There will be things you like, things you love, and things you’ll want to toss out. You’re also going to find similar themes, condense them as best you can. Use a thesaurus and dictionary, sometimes the word to bring it all together is out there you just can’t remember, or didn’t know it. The end goal is to sum everything up in just a couple of sentences. Seriously.

I know it’s hard. In my case I love sharing domestic type stuff but I don’t want to confine myself as a niche blog. I think that makes me a Mommy blogger, AACCKK, not one of those! Then I’m suddenly overwhelmed and feeling completely insignificant. So I Google whether or not Mommy bloggers are insignificant and fifteen (OKAY, 50) minutes later I can’t remember what I was doing.

Once you have a couple sentences you’re comfortable with, say it out loud a few times. Does it feel good to say it? Call a trusted friend and try it out on them. Don’t give up and remember your mission statement can change. We’re not writing in stone and there’s no one holding you to it. That said, our mission statements should help us to create continuity, as long as we don’t go changing it with every new moon.

Hopefully this helped you get onto a path towards creating a mission statement.

3 more things about mission statements:

They should be short.

They should stand on their own without explanations.

They should reflect what you want to be remembered for.

Erin Sipes
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St. Patrick’s Scavenger Hunt St. Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt

Next Sunday why not wake your kids up with a fun St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt. I used craft foam and sticks to make special leprechaun clues along with Rolo candies and Ring Pops for the treasure. Below are the clues I came up with and want to share with you. Please feel free to use them, for family use only, and have fun with it!

@mvemother #Stpats #scavengerhunt #funwithkids
Try to find my treasure,
Look all around.
You’re best to start,
Where your toys are found. #kidscrafts #stpatsgame
Clever child,
You’re on the right path.
Have you checked,
Where you take your bath?

@mvemother #stpatsday #kidscraft #scavengerhunt

Splish, Splash!
Will you find me soon?
Be sure to look
Where we keep the spoons. #scavengerhunt #stpatsday #funwithkids

Just one more place
For you to look.
Where would you go to  
Find a book!

#treasurehunt #stpats #kidscraft
Check out my Linky Party Page to see all the places I’m sharing this fun festive game!

Erin Sipes
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Leprechaun Beards for the Wee Ones

I’ve been crazy with various issues the past few weeks so when the kids said they wanted to dress up like leprechauns I was all to eager to appease them. I mean seriously, is there a better way to beat the blues than a little bit of dress up? I wasn’t ambitious enough to sew costumes and none of the hats we came up with actually FIT their big ole noggins. But beards…I got that! – Erin

@mvemother Leprechaun Beards  #kidscraft #stpatsday

  • orange yarn
  • scissors
  • elastic hair bands (I used some Your Shape ones I’d gotten from a Houseparty)

@mvemother Supplies for Leprechaun Beards

Cut about 40 to 50 ten inch lengths of yarn.

Okay I looked it up…use a magnus hitch to attach the pieces of yarn to the hair band. I bet you didn’t know what it was called either did you? Here’s a picture.

@mvemother Making Leprechaun Beards #stpatsday
Then, let the kids have their fun!

@mvemother #stpatsday Beards #kidscraft@mvemother #craftingwithkids #Leprechauncraft #St. Patrick'sDay
I’m going to be sharing this one so check out my Linky Party Page

Erin Sipes
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Celebrate with Wait Til Your Father Gets Home and Chase the Star!

I’m so happy to be a part of this great giveaway! Be sure to enter before March 11th and take a moment to visit some of the other sponsors. -Erin

Blogiversary giveaway

Enter to WIN one of these TWO FABULOUS PRIZES:

Prize 1: $175 Gift Card from Amazon

Prize 2: $175 Gift Card from Target

Oh yeah---TWO of you lovelies will be WINNING!


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Erin Sipes
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