Sunday, March 16, 2014

Backyard + Deck

This weekend we went to the flower and patio show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. My husband and I have been "dream" planning for our backyard and thinking of some additional ideas that we could do to make our deck and back porch more private (we live on a corner 1-acre piece of property). We just love our neighborhood. Our neighbors are wonderful and when you drive down the street, especially during spring, summer and fall, you just feel like you are in a park like setting. But yet each year we search for that one additional idea that we could add to our property to make it a more entertaining focused for when family and friends come over for a cookout. 

One idea we found was a wooden privacy screen. It is not actually a screen but slats of wood that you could grow flowers upward, vegetables and what drew my husband even more to it was hops (he is a home brewer).



There were so many design ideas that local landscape architects and companies created that we just wish money was no object. But as most of know...budget is key. 

In the meantime of dream planning we can across some of the most beautiful flowers. Spring fever set in full force even more last night...and just waiting for this Thursday to arrive, because now we can officially call it Spring! 







Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Apple Crumb Pie

We love getting ready for Thanksgiving, the aroma of the food cooking in the kitchen, pies being baked, everyone working together and helping, and just all around conversation at the kitchen table.

Earlier I had mentioned that we would share our family favorite of Apple Crumb Pie, time has slipped away from me to quickly and I just realized I had not shared with you. The girls and I worked together in baking this pie for a neighbor of ours a few days ago. 

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Apple Crumb Pie

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup + 2 T flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (we sometimes add a little more but we like a strong cinnamon flavor)
1 stick - cold butter (sliced/cubed)

Filling
7-8 medium sized apples
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven 450F. Toss lemon juice on the apples so that they do not turn brown. Mix in the remaining ingredients of the filling into the bowl of the apples. Pour the apple mixture into your pastry crust. 

Crumb topping: In a separate bowl from the apple filling, combine all the dry ingredients together and stick of butter. Before adding the stick of butter, cut it into several slices so that when you place it in the bowl you will be able to gently "mash" the butter into the dry ingredients. 

Next, spread the crumb mixture on top of the apple filling. Spread evenly. 

Bake for 15 minutes at 450F and then reduce to 350F for 45 minutes. 

When done remove from the oven and cool. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Duck Tape Crafts

The new "big" thing in our home is duck tape! Alex received a birthday surprise at our family birthday celebration. It was a bag full of duck tape, not just the silver kind we grew up with but the duck tape that is in various colors and patterns. You can go down any of the department store/craft aisles and find different styles of duck tape patterns. 

This summer on vacation, the girls learned how to make duck tape wallets and key chains which was a great deal of fun when sitting out on the porch (and as a car activity) enjoying the lake view on a cool afternoon. 

My interest peaked as I thought to myself, I should look on Pinterest to see if there are any additional ideas that might be fun to create with duck tape. Little did I realize all the different things that kids (and adults) can make. A new world opened once I started really looking and researching it. But doesn't that seem like most things anymore?

The girls and I created a Pinterest board of various duck tape project ideas that we liked, so please come over and browse our board of ideas. 

We would love to hear from you too, in the comment section below, of the various things that you have created with duck tape. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kids Sewing: Making Fun Pillowcases

Making pillowcases is a lot of fun both for adults and kids because there are so many different variations that you can do to make each pillowcase different. Since the beginning of the year, the girls have been learning to sew. We have worked on various projects but our favorite has been sewing pillowcases.
The pattern I am going to share with you today is a basic, one-piece fabric version. It has worked the best for us because it is simple and easy to follow. We will also be working on future pillowcases that will be a little more difficult, such as using two pieces of fabric, working with ruffles, etc., but for the girls’ current skill level, this works great.
To learn more on how to sew a one-piece fabric pillow, please join me over at Sew Mama Sew, where we will walk you through the stages of making a fun pillowcase. 


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ollie...Our Super Wonder Dog!

I just could not resist sharing this photograph. Ollie...he is just one of the most patient dogs in the world. The girls dress him up in all different costumes and it does not matter if it is a ballerina tutu, a baseball hat and scarf, or a swimsuit. You name it and he is wagging his tail! 

We are so thankful that we adopted him. This little puppy had a rough start, but we will never forget the first night we brought him into our home. He was so lovey, wanted to be held in your arms and just cuddle. Now this 80 lb lovey still wants to sit in your lap...but we would not change it for the world. 


Happy 2nd Birthday Ollie!



Friday, September 6, 2013

30 Fun Outdoor Crafts/Games for Kids + PBS Parents Ebook Launched

PBS Parents have launched a new ebook of 30 crafts/games that families can do outside. Our children love to play outside and the ebook shares a variety of activities that can be selected for that adventure of the day.

 
In fact, you could select a craft a day for 30 days all from the ebook in helping you plan. One summer my oldest daughter wanted to do such a task. She loves to craft, do art and just all around create. My youngest was a baby and still napped in the afternoons. While my youngest was taking her nap, my oldest and I would craft. Every day for the summer we crafted and created something new. It was a little challenging at times trying to think of something new, why not for sure but I must say in all honestly we had a lot of fun, and it was something that she looked forward to every day. In fact some days she even created the craft!

Each of the 30 crafts/games are created by moms. For example, you can learn how to make a jump rope out of plastic bags, homemade chalk, silly putty, wreaths for every occasion and so much more.

The great thing about the ebook...all dollars go back to PBS to help support programming. I encourage to you to click the links below and learn more about the ebook and help support the PBS community.
 
Parents Site
 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kids Cooking Club: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

If you asked our family what is your favorite ice cream? There would be a small list of favorites that would fit on one hand....mint chocolate chip, cinnamon, raspberry chocolate chip and vanilla. My husband and I are picky when it comes to ice cream or really any type food. We are a firm believer in not adding artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and dyes.

We have been tweaking this family favorite recipe of mint chocolate chip ice cream. It is a recipe that literally infuses the mint herb into the milk/cream mixture for an hour. It does not have the artificial taste or color that many store bought ice creams have today. This recipe has your taste buds pick up the true essence of the herb. It has a much stronger and refreshing taste in the ice cream.

Originally we started growing mint on the ends of our home. We have a lemon mint on one side and then a "plain" mint (if that is what you might call it) on the opposite side. It started out as a way to deter ants in entering our home via the electrical outlets. In addition to planting geraniums in our flower beds which we read the mint and geranium plants help in deterring the little creatures. The mint garden in return has spread along the width of our home and has provided a wonderful addition to our kitchen.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
4 cups of whole milk
1 1/2 cup sugar
8 cups heavy cream
2 cups fresh mint leaves (rinse the leaves, remove the leaves from the stem and keep whole)
5 egg yolks
Your desired amount of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks


The mint just placed into the milk/cream
mixture to infuse into the liquid.

In a medium/large sauce pan warm the milk, sugar and 4 cups of cream. Once the milk mixture has reached 170F remove from the heat, add the 2 cups of fresh mint leaves into the milk/cream mixture, cover and set aside for 1 hour to infuse the flavor of the mint in the mixture. If you want a stronger flavor of mint to the liquid I would add an additional 30 minutes of infusion.

After an hour, press down with a spatula/potato masher, etc., the mint into the pot to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. It will not turn the bright green, as you see in the stores. Once you feel the flavor of the mint has been extracted discard the mint. 

Pour the remaining heavy cream (4 cups) into the large bowl. Rewarm the milk/cream mixture. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the 5 egg yolks, then slowly pour the eggs into the milk/cream mixture. This will then form the custard. Cook the custard, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. The temperature of the custard should go no higher than 170F. 

Allow the custard to cool.

There are one of two ways that you can freeze your ice cream/custard. You can refrigerate the ice cream/custard into a freezer proof container and freeze overnight. Or you can pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and the follow the directions from the manufacturer of the maker in making your ice cream. 

While the mixture is freezing, after an hour or two pour your chocolate chips/chocolate chunks into your lightly frozen custard, and mix around. By waiting an hour or two, it helps the chocolate not to sink to the bottom of the container.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kids in the Garden - Outdoor Living Spaces

Over 2,000 youth in our county 4H program will be coming together mid-July. As the final weeks of 4H will be just around the corner, my oldest has been working on a plan for her gardening project for the third grade division.

We have been talking about they type of flowers and veggies that we want to grow in our backyard and around the house. Ultimately our goal is to have yard where we have a variety of produce and herbs that blend naturally into our landscape.

This year we began a project of converting the backyard drain spouts to run into rain barrels, where the water is used for our plants. Over the course of the last few years, we have begun to notice the rain water hydrates the plants so much better than the running tap water that comes out of our faucets through the city.  

We came across some gardening ideas/tips that looked very intriguing both on my end as mom, and second helping the girls learn to garden. It was just the "ump" I needed to help share how gardening can be fun at all ages, and bring some excitement to the kids in seeing how you can work to grow produce for your table, have flowers for your kitchen, herbs to help you stay healthy and add flavor to your meals.

Below are a few websites that we enjoyed reading that helped us in creating/planning a garden with the girls. In addition, please join me on our Hi Mamma Pinterest page where we have "pinned" other ideas for families in the garden. Absolutely love it because it is amazing to see what other gardeners have done in their yards/patios to help beautify their outdoor  living space.


The Top 10 Crops for Children
11 Ways to Make Gardening Extra Fun for Kids
Fairy Herb Garden
Why You Should Always Grow a Wild Card : Gardening with Kids
27 Garden Markers
20 Reasons Why it's Great to Get Gardening
Edible Garden – Part 2
Seasonal Produce Posters

Do you and your family garden? If so, we would love to hear from you what you are planning on gardening this year. Do you grow your veggies upward (like cucumbers) on a fence or trellis? One thing we have thought about is growing our lettuce right underneath our cucumbers (kind of like forming a tent of cucumbers) so that the lettuce (underneath the cucumbers) does not get "burned" since it likes cooler weather.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Voting is Open! Join Us in the EtsyMom Team Spring 2013 Color Palette Challenge


Several of our talented EtsyMom team members have joined in on a little team fun and have created new items based off the Berry Brights color palette. I think these colors are just so bright and cheer myself that it just makes me naturally smile when I see them, and of course makes my mouth water when I see the strawberries.

One of these lucky moms will win a prize basket based on the number of votes/likes they receive. So join in on the fun and help them out by "liking" your favorite or favorites on the EtsyMom Facebook page, if you have more than one.

Voting will end at midnight on Saturday May 4.

In addition, if you would like to see other color palette ideas be sure to click on the Berry Brights photograph (to your left) and it will take to you a world of additional color palettes that truly set the mood like "Citrus Color", "Ladybug Brights", etc. It has opened my eyes in terms of mixing colors together.

This summer, my daughter is participating in 4H for the first time, and will be entering a project in the Home Environment program where she is to create an interior design layout for a bedroom. She has enjoyed going to the home supply stores and looking at paint colors and carpet selections. When she saw the various color palette selections a world of ideas began to unfold in terms of mixing colors together for her project. I think it will do the same for you as well.

We would love for you to share with us on Hi Mamma what is your favorite color palette after looking at the selections!



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kids Cooking Club: Banana Bread

One oldie but goodie recipe is banana bread. It seems like you just can not go wrong in what you add to the recipe to give it a little more ump. Of course the ultimate favorite part of the recipe is smashing the bananas, but no matter, this is the ultimate quick bread the girls really enjoy.

In terms of nuts we rotate based upon what we have in the freezer. The girls really enjoy the almonds where my husband likes the walnuts. As you can see below, we have raisins added as an ingredient but in all honesty, sometimes we just double up the nuts and not place raisins in the batter, and add some crushed flax seed into the mixing bowl.

Banana Bread
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup sugar (you can add any of the different sugars that you like, just remember to change the amount based upon the desired sweetness)
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)
1 cup raisins
1 cup = roughly 3 mashed bananas

Grease you bread pan so that it does not stick to the pan when removing the bread after baking.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, oil and eggs together into the mixing bowl. Add the mashed bananas. Lastly fold into the batter the nuts and raisins (if desired).

Bake at 350 F for 1 hour. After baking let the bread rest for 10 minutes before removing from pan and serving (if you like it warm).

Friday, April 5, 2013

Classic Movie Night

It is classic movie night tonight...we are going to be kicking it off with Mary Poppins! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and A Spoonful of Sugar will be in my mind all weekend long. Do you think when I start humming A Spoonful of Sugar and snap my fingers...that it will help me clean my house...oh how I wish. But none-the-less it will be a wonderful movie night.

Over the past week, we have been thinking of films that are considered classics and really it is ongoing list. We have our list of books/novels but not really in terms of films.

We would love for you to share your favorites. Below are some that we thought of. Granted a few are newer than others but in terms of classics, they could be there.
  • Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Singin’ In the Rain (1952)
  • Sound of Music (1965)
  • Alice in Wonderland (1951)
  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • Bright Eyes (1934)
  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  • Mary Poppins (1964)
  • The Sound of Music (1965)
  • Star Wars (1977)
  • The Black Stallion (1979)
  • The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  • The Absent-Minded Professor
  • The Great Race
  • Modern Times
  • Time Bandits
  • Forrest Gump
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
  • Back to the Future
  • Oliver Twist
  • It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
  • James and the Giant Peach (1996)
  • The Shaggy D.A. (1976)
  • Lassie
  • King Kong (1933)
  • Little Women (1933)
  • Anne of Green Gables (1934)
  • Heidi (1937)
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
  • The Little Princess (1939)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • The Secret Garden (1949)
  • Peter Pan (1953)
  • Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
  • Charlotte's Web (1973)
  • The Three Musketeers (1974)
  • The Adventures of the Wilderness Family (1975) and sequel (1978)
  • The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) and sequel (1979)
  • Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) and sequel (1978)
  • The Four Musketeers (1975)
  • The Bad News Bears (1976) and sequels (1977, 1978)
  • Annie (1982)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fun and Wacky Themed Days

Celebrating and having special themed days has become a fun monthly family tradition. Each day of the month we have a theme that can be a really wacky idea, a funny joke, a new craft and/or learn about a bit of history! We just mix it up a little.

Some of our ideas have come from a book that you can find at the library called Chase Calendar of Events. I learned of this book when I was planning local store events for McDonald's restaurants/owners. It is great source that shares ideas that you can build upon, as well as provide facts. Another source that I have enjoyed is via family education's calendar links. This website has all 12 months of the year laid out, in terms of special days that you can print off at home.
We do a combination of the two calendars, as well as our own "wacky fun" days. There are times that we know ahead, in terms of planning, that we can place that event on the calendar for the day. For example, we attended the play "Anne of Green Gables" that was performed by a local group of teenagers who participate in Wisdom Builders. It was a true example of a group of teenagers coming together to perform, where many, many hours of practice and rehearsals took place (what theater is all about). Our oldest daughter absolutely loved it...in fact, she sat at end of her seat the entire time. But before we went to the play, we learned about classic ahead of time. We studied the characters, read parts of the book (with the book being read in school in two years) and just the all around history of the time period.

Now in terms of planning, I print out personalized calendars. I have created a Pinterest board for you that you can click on and see some favorite layouts. I would love for you to follow...new pins will be added. All the calendars can be downloaded and printed at home. You just need to handwrite the planning of the activities. One thing that we also do is rotate the design of the calendars, so that we have a different look/design each month.  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

EtsyKids Spring Sale

Yeah...it is officially it is spring and I have spring fever. I am ready to see the daffodils bloom, the tulips take shape and make fresh flower bouquets. Funny to think that this weekend in Central Indiana we are projected to receive 6-10 inches of snow. Will it happen? But besides the snow coming (maybe) I know in my mind it is spring.

The EtsyKids Team is holding a special Spring Sale! Fifty (50) shops have come together to share their shops with us ,as well as, offer special discounts, free items, shipping and other goodies to help launch spring. Be sure to stop by and help support the love of handmade.


Hi Mamma is participating in the spring sale and we are offering free shipping with the code SPRINGSALE.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Kids Cooking Club: Pimiento Cheese Spread


Growing up there were three staples that my grandparents served when we visited them on the farm Sunday afternoon/evenings for dinner. Now in terms of spreads, I do not mean lots of food that is spread out along a serving unit but spread on bread, crackers, dipped with celery/carrots. The three staples of my grandma's were ham, cheese and egg spread.

Almost every Sunday the ladies would gather in the kitchen while the men watched football and/or baseball in the family room. When it was time for dinner, out came the meat grinder for the ham spread, sauce pans to boil the eggs, and a grater for the cheese. Coming from a large family all of us would work together in making our favorite spread, it was quite a teamwork event. 

My daughters today have continued in the love of making pimiento cheese spread. The girls have enjoyed making this recipe. The one thing that I do for them is finely chopping the onions, other than that, they are very careful when it comes to making the spread. We do not use a mixer but hand mix in a large bowl.

Pimiento Cheese Spread

Ingredients
1 lb. grated, mild cheddar cheese (we recommend to hand grate the cheddar cheese because pregrated cheese does not absorb the flavors of the ingredients as well, and the texture is a little different).
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 T. chopped pimientos (drained)
2 T. grated/finely chopped white onion
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients listed above together in a bowl and refrigerate for about one (1) hour.

Our family tends not to like spreads with a lot of mayo, it makes it a little soggy, and causes a texture issue for the girls. So based upon your tastes you might want to add more mayo or even mustard.

There are several different ways that you can serve the cheese spread, below are some of our favorite ways. If you try this recipe, and combine it with something different, we would love to know because we will try it too!
  • Dip the cheese spread with crackers.
  • Place the cheese spread on cucumber slices.
  • Dip carrots and celery into the cheese spread (a veggie plate).
  • Make grilled cheese sandwiches and spread the pimiento cheese on your bread (in place of sliced cheese), along with several slices of tomatoes on top of the cheese spread, then place your bread and griddle on your stove top.
  • Dip pretzels in cheese spread.
  • Dip pretzels with tortilla chips.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

EtsyMom Ready for 2013 Blog Hop

EtsyMom Team

The EtsyMom team is having a blog hop to celebrate the new year! Participating team members are blogging about business tips, ideas, recipes, organizational ideas...really anything that will help moms and their family. What is better that learning and sharing with other moms? Be sure to hop on over to the other EtsyMom blogs that are participating, just by click the links below and help support the Handmade Community.

Hi Mamma (me)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kids Cooking Club

We are proud to launch a new section of Hi Mamma called "The Kids Cooking Club" over the next year, each week we will be sharing different cooking tips, recipes and printables that you can do with your children, grandchildren, nieces/nephews and cousins! The girls and I are very excited to start sharing with you some of our favorite recipes in our kitchen, as well as new ones too.

When the girls cousins come over for a week, or spend a long weekend with us, there seems to be one common thing that we alway do and this that we end up in the kitchen... and we are cooking and baking. Together we love to make homemade pizza, learn tips from an older cousin who loves to cook bacon on the stove top, make chocolate dipped pretzels and homemade cookies. The best part about this get together is that we are having fun, working together and preserving such fun memories. Really, what could be better!
The Kids Cooking Club launches at a no better time than the beginning of an Etsy Mom Team Event. Please join us in leaving a comment below of the things that you like to cook or, would like to cook with your children. We would love to hear from you.

EtsyMom Team


We encourage you to join our blog following by signing up for our enewsletter or joining us on Facebook. Either way, we are glad to have you join us and together we can learn and share.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Great Big Birthday Bash Giveaway


This month WriteShop is celebrating their 12th year of providing quality writing materials to families. Our family loves the WriteShop materials and used them in 2012.

A number of WriteShops friends have partnered together to help celebrate their 12th birthday. What could be better than a GREAT BIG Birthday Bash giveaway package worth hundreds of dollars!

Hi Mamma will be making a custom order birthday banner for the winner! The giveaway will be running from January 1-13, 2013.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ready to Ship

Quickly wanted to share our handmade ornaments for the 3rd Annual Handmade Ornament Exchange. These ornaments were truly a family project. Each one of the girls and I have helped in some fashion.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Handmade Ornament Exchange Match Ups Complete

Wanted to share with everyone who is participating in the 3rd Annual Handmade Ornament Exchange, that the match ups and addresses for the exchanges have been emailed to all participants. If you did not receive an email from me, let me know and I will send you the contact information.

If for some reason you are not able to participate in the exchange, please let me know ASAP so that arrangements can be made for an updated match up.

Below are a three ornaments that we have received in past ornament exchanges. I think it is just so much fun to see all the creative ideas that families have in the exchange with one another.



Happy ornament making and enjoying time together.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Handmade Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Hi Mamma | Petunia and Marigold are participating in the EtsyKids Team Black Friday + Cyber Monday Celebration. A total of 102 Etsy Kids Team Members are participating. The deals range from percentage discounts...free shipping...free items. We wanted to share with you the various promotions that are taking place in the handmade community.



Our two shops are offering free shipping. When you check out, be sure to use discount code ETSYKIDSBLACKFRIDAY in either shop.