Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cool Whip Dyed Easter Eggs


I've seen ideas out there for dyeing Easter Eggs with shaving cream and never really understood the point. I mean, why not just dye them the conventional way by dipping? Then I had a child. And it was oh-so-clear. My bouncing, running, giggling baby boy would be going nowhere near those cups of dye unless I wanted a rainbow colored house. That shaving cream was making sense now. Actually, it was genius! Baby boy could touch it and smell it and get all up in it, and actually cover the eggs and dye them himself. Then, I saw an idea that swapped out the shaving cream for Cool Whip. And I was sold. I mean, Cool Whip tastes way better than shaving cream ;)

I gathered up the supplies Sweet P and I would need (the dye was from a while back and that vinegar actually made the move from Arizona with us - there are no Safeways in the South, ha!). 

Next I needed a dozen or so hardboiled eggs. I always follow the Pioneer Woman's technique of placing eggs in water, bringing the pot to a boil, then turning off the heat and letting the eggs sit for 20 minutes. This is followed by a cold water rinse and the eggs always turn out perfectly. 

I had cooked the eggs the day before, so they were cold and ready for us to dye. I poured vinegar over the eggs to help the color set, and just let them air on a plate prior to the Cool Whip fun. 

Next I plopped a bunch of Cool Whip in a big tupperware and dropped in some blue and purple food coloring. I started to swirl with a spatula and then let little man swirl some more. 

He pretty much immediately asked "Mouth?" which is his way of saying "I'd like to eat some of this, please." I gave him the green light and he was way excited. Take that, shaving cream!

 I actually didn't want the food coloring to get too mixed in because I thought a tie-dyed swirl effect would be kind of neat, so I handed Parker the first egg and he got to rolling and coating. 

He would stop every so often and say "mouth!" and eat a bit more.

I took each egg as he was finished and placed them on a paper plate. I had some wet wash cloths and paper towels handy as well because Cool Whip is always a hot mess. 

We made another batch of yellow and orange colored Cool Whip and followed the same technique, then we put the paper plates in the refrigerator and left them overnight. The next day I took out the paper plates and rubbed all the Cool Whip off the eggs with wet paper towels (some I actually just rinsed under water in the sink). I was afraid the water and rubbing would wipe off all the dye, but the eggs still looked great! 

Here are all of Parker's finished creations...
I love how only two batches of dyed Cool Whip produced all these different colors, and I really love that my just-turned-two-year-old was able to get in on the fun and dye the eggs himself! 

Are you dyeing Easter Eggs this year? Are you going traditional or mixing it up? Do tell! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Blue Week

Last week we learned all about the color "boooooo!" (blue!). Now, blue was one of the first colors Parker was able to identify, and he's been consistent with it for months now, but I still wanted to devote a week to studying it.

One of my favorite things during our colors weeks has been making one-color meals and snacks. Unfortunately, there really aren't any naturally occurring blue foods (or if there are, please let me know!). Yes, there are blueberries, but they turn things more of a purplish color rather than true blue. So while I try hard to give Parker whole and natural foods, we just had to make some exceptions for Blue Week!

Parker got to munch on a blue cereal treat (Lucky Charms with just the blue marshmallows).

We walked downtown for a blue ice cream cone.

And Parker had his first taste of Jell-O. Blue of course! 

His sensory bin again had objects that had been collected from around the house. 

I've been including the color-of-the-week bean bag in each bin. These were leftover from my classroom days, but you can find similar ones here(they are great for reinforcing all the colors, too).

We had some really warm weather so we squeezed into last summer's blue clothing.

In true southern fashion (or so I am told), this was immediately followed by super-cold days, so we busted out the blue winter clothes. 


And Blue Week just wouldn't be Blue Week without the book Little Blue Truckof course! Little Blue Truck has been one of Parker's very favorites from the beginning. If you have a baby or toddler (or know a baby or toddler) they need this book! It has great illustrations of a country setting, teaches lots of animal sounds, includes rhyming text, and has a good message. We love it (as well as Little Blue Truck Leads the Way and Little Blue Truck's Christmaswhich just came out last December).

We ended the week with some blue watercolor painting.

We've been using theseMelissa and Doug paintbrushes with these liquid watercolrsand they've been working really well! I think liquid watercolors are totally the way to go for a toddler (versus the watercolor cakes). I just rinse off his brush and the container when he's done and that's all the cleanup there is!
We turned Parker's art into a "Welcome Home" sign that we brought to the airport when we picked up Daddy from his travel abroad. Parker of course dropped the sign and just went running to Dada as soon as he saw him, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Up next is our last color of the rainbow: purple! Any ideas for purple foods??

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer for Target!


OMG, how excited was I to pick up my US Weekly yesterday and see this ad for Lilly Pulitzer at Target! Yes, Target! It's too good to be true. Browse the entire look book here. It's ah-mazing. 

Some of my faves...












Also, if I had a daughter I'd totally be twinsies with these matchy-matchy jumpsuits.

You know where you can find me April 19th in the AM: camped out in the Target parking lot with a Starbucks waiting for the doors to open! 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Finally Friday!

It's been a Mamma and Parker week, and we are so ready to pick up Dada at the airport this afternoon after seven days of international business travel! 

1. To prepare Parker for Max's trip, we made a calendar on our kitchen chalkboard wall. It was all Max's idea and a family effort. Parker's finally at the age where he really knows when Dada is gone, so we were hoping this would give him some idea as to when Max was coming home. Max drew his itinerary and I filled in special things that Parker and I would do each day. Then, we crossed them off as each day passed. It helped being able to refer to it during the week, and point out that Dada would be coming home on Friday! Plus, Parker loved adding his own drawings on the bottom. 

2. It was gorgeous weather here in Alabama this week, so I planned lots of outdoor activities. We walked to our neighborhood park one day. 

And we hit up the botanical garden another day! Our sweet realtor gave us a family pass here and I know we will be back lots more. 


3. Since Max was gone and I had nights alone, I started a new show to binge watch: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! I also had it streaming while Parker was sleeping and I was doing laundry. It was silly and entertaining, a perfect distraction while husby was out of the country. The main character is so endearing - an almost-thirty year old rescued from a doomsday cult and plopped down in Manhattan. It's basically time travel for her after being in a bunker for fifteen years, so there's lots of nineties goodness thrown in and I love it. Tina Fey is a producer so of course it's also super funny. I totally recommend! 

4. Parker has been helping me out in the kitchen this week and little man loves to cook!

And taste. And make a big ol' mess, but I love it.

I really want to get a kitchen tower to make our cooking time safer (I'm totally hovering when Sweet P is sitting on the counter). Does anyone out there use one of these? I'm looking at these two towers. I like that the Fun Pod Kitchen Stool is adjustable and completely closed in, but I'm not sure how long P will like being enclosed like that. On the other hand, I think the Guidecraft Step Stool would be perfect later, but I'd probably still be hovering if he were to use it now. Decisions decisions! I'd love advice or recommendations! 
5. Speaking of shopping, I picked up these adorable flats on our last Target trip. I can't wait to wear them! I also forgot to get laundry detergent, the whole reason for said shopping trip. Oh, well, P and I will just have to head back, and this time I can wear my new shoes!


Happy Friday! 



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs


Awhile back I found a recipe on Pinterest for homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs, and quickly pinned it here. I finally got around to making a batch this week! You can find the original recipe here. I decided to just make a half batch, which was a wise decision since I think I'm going to polish them off all by myself by the end of the day. They were super easy to make, and we already had all the ingredients in the pantry. I just mixed peanut butter with powdered sugar, vanilla and melted butter, then formed egg shaped patties on parchment paper. 


After the eggs froze, I dipped them in meted chocolate with a fork as per the directions. 

Parker was a rebel and dipped with his hands.

He opted for a half-dipped version. I like it! 

He then promptly grabbed the spoon to lick (I've taught him well). 

Hope your day is just as egg-cellent!


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