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Friday, December 19, 2014

Reindeer Food & Reindeer Candy Cane Craft {Preschool Activities}.

Original Post Date: December 23, 2011

These are two activities I have done many times with my preschool students following the REINDEER theme.  With a few simple items from the Dollar Store you can create two fun projects, one to eat and one to share with Santa.  The candy cane has become a universally recognized Christmas treat.  With the option of so many flavours to choose from, you can be sure to find a variety that everyone will love.  My favourite are the cherry flavoured canes.


Candy Cane Reindeer Craft


What I Used:
1 box of candy canes (any flavour, mine held 9 plastic wrapped canes)
1 package of chenille wires
1 package of craft google eyes (need 2 for each candy cane)
small red pom poms (need 1 for each candy cane)
Non-toxic Glue Stick

Method:
  • Make sure your candy canes are the kind that are plastic wrapped.
  • Twist the chenille wires onto the top of the candy cane and fold ends into antler shapes.
  • Use glue stick to attach eyes and pom pom nose.
  • Stand the finished project in a glass to dry at least an hour.

When dry- Hang on Christmas tree, attach to gifts for decoration, or peel wrapper and enjoy a treat!


Reindeer Dust

There are many different versions of this activity.  I have adapted the usual reindeer dust recipes to include only edible materials by switching out glitter for candy sprinkles and/or coloured sugar.  I wanted this project to be non-toxic, safe if ingested, and biodegradable.  Sprinkle on the ground outside on Christmas Eve and read your poem.

Makes Enough for 4 children:
1 cup of oats
1/3 of coloured sugar (coarse)
1/4 cup sprinkles
Copies of the poem (scissors & hole punch)
twist ties or ribbon
4 food storage bags

What I did:
  • Mix the oats, coloured sugar and sprinkles in a bowl.
  • Scoop by spoonfuls into your food storage bags.  I used Dollar Store cello bags.
  • Write your poem on a 3x3 piece of card stock paper or print out from computer and trim to size.
  • Punch a hole in your poem and secure to the bag with ribbon or twist ties.


Poem:
Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
As Santa's reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home  
Author Unknown 



Wishing you a very Merry Christmas !

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Comfort Food: Spiced Raisin Rum Cake

Original post date December 21, 2012.
This is my second most requested recipe for this time of year.
Using 2-3 smaller cake or loaf pans makes this cake an easy 
option for sharing.


Warm and spicy, sweet and moist...This is not your gramma's fruitcake.  It is one of my Mother's fruitcake recipes so be careful with those fruitcake jokes.  There are no eggs in this recipe and you can easily swap out the butter for vegetable oil or soy based margarine.  My Mom only ever made this for Christmas, but I find myself craving it all winter long.  Molasses is a good source of Iron so this magic cake can't be all that bad for you right?


Boil Liquid Ingredients for 10 minutes:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 cup butter or 3/4 oil
1 1/2 cups dark raisins
2 cups water

Add Spice & Flavour then cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours:
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp Rum extract or 1 Tablespoon Dark Rum

Combine Dry Ingredients into the wet with a dough hook:
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 325 F.
Pour batter into greased cake or loaf pans.
Bake 45 to 65 minutes (Turn oven down to 275 F after 20 minutes).
Tooth pick test the middle of the cake/s.  A clean, batter free toothpick will indicate doneness.

*I use 3 medium/1.5 cup loaf pans, so this decreases the bake time to about 40-50 minutes. This is my Mom's recipe and she always used a big Bundt pan which took about 60 minutes to bake.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Fun Holiday Gifts Giveaway via @Hallmark_Canada #Northpole1820 #CANWIN (CAN/12/15)

Welcome to my Holiday 2014 Giveaway courtesy of my fabulous 
sponsor Hallmark Canada. You can win three products from the 
#Northpole1820 line, easy entry below!
This is my final giveaway for 2014.  
I wish you health and happiness with the ones you love.
Rooftop Drop Game
 Retails for $9.95

Includes three fabric beanbag “gifts” to pitch and one sturdy
cardstock rooftop "chimney" as target.

Dance Like An Elf
Retails for $19.95

Turn it on to follow the elf caller’s directions. 
Each time you press the button, dance for 90 seconds.
Features 12 music loops and over 30 dance moves meaning every dance is different.
I love that it has two volume levels.

 Snowby the Polar Bear Snowglobe
Retails for $29.95

This lovely decoration is made of resin and glass.
Give him a gentle shake to see his snow swirl.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Friday, December 5, 2014

Rice Krispie Treat Sculpture #HolidayRecipe #TreatsForToys


TREATS FOR TOYS
For every original photo of a Rice Krispies treat uploaded to RiceKrispies.ca , Kelloggs' will make a donation of $20 to The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army will use this donation to buy toys for children in need across Canada this holiday season. Share your photo on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using the hashtag #treatsfortoys before December 24th.  
Full rules and regulations can be found here.


Every season we love to find ways of giving our time, talent, and treasure to people in our community who need it most.  Philanthropy is a character trait I wanted to instil in my girl while she was young.  Donating new and gently used clothing, giving to local food banks, and volunteering at community services are just a few ways we like to give back.  

Kellogg's Canada has set the #Treatsfortoys campaign in motion again, and it's a great way to get your family involved in the the fun of giving.  My girl wanted to make a train with our Rice Krispie treats, but it ended up looking more like a truck. She was pleased with the result and we ate it anyway! We uploaded a photo of our tasty creation to support the Salvation Army toy drive.

What I used:
  • Kellogg's Rice Krispie treat original recipe doubled. 
  • Various sized cookies, candies, licorice, pre-made icing tubes with attachable tips. 
What I did:
  • Press the prepared treat mixture firmly into a parchment lined 9 x 13 cake pan.
  • When it's set, cut: 
  • 2 big rectangles (approximately 3 x 4 inches), stack them with icing in between to create the trailer.
  • 1 square (2 x 2), to start assembling the cab.
  • 2 or 3 smaller rectangles for stacking on the square to shape the cab of the truck.
  • One 2 inch circle (cut the bottom edge off so it will sit flat), place it on the very front of the cab.
  • Decorate with icing, cookies and treats.
  • Snap a picture and upload to Treats For Toys at ricekrispies.ca/holiday 
.
Disclosure: As part of the Kelloggers blogging community I occasionally receive perks. All opinions on this blog are my own.
Monday, December 1, 2014

Give The Gift of Custom Photo Art via @Posterjack

Order your quality photo gift before December 14
for Christmas delivery
.
Occasionally I encounter a company that excels at customer service and quality standards. I can honestly say that Posterjack is on that NICE list.  I have ordered three types of products from them; matte posters, a panoramic poster board, and a gallery type framed collage.  I like having the option to upload my own photos to create wall art or the option of purchasing quality photos from the Posterjack Art Shop. They have thousands of photos to choose from- add the size options plus product options and you will see that they make custom art creation for every decor style easy.  Here is a photo journal of my latest Posterjack encounter.

The Collage Designer tool is easy to use and has many options to help you
 customise your art.  I chose to arrange my photos manually, but you have the option
of choosing a pre-set grid then drag your photos into place.
The package arrived in about a week and came well-protected in two layers of firm
cardboard and lots of bubble wrap.  There was a nice Thank you note taped to the
wrapping along with a micro fibre cloth to clean my custom art.
I love the attention to detail. No one sees the back of the picture,
but Poster Jack has professional finishing on the hanging mounts, and also
added silicon nubs on the lower corners to keep the frame from
hitting the wall and also helping it hang level.
  
My 18x24 Collage in Gallery Frame has replaced the tired old bargain
print above my couch. Instead we have a custom family portrait as an
early Christmas present to my hubby. 

Disclaimer: I was given a product voucher in exchange for review post. All opinions on this blog remain honest and my own.
Friday, November 28, 2014

Preschool Activity: Wind Socks #Recycle #Reuse

 I'm sure there are a hundred different ways to make wind socks. They are usually made with fabric but I collect water bottles to use for many crafts and came up with a way to make a type of wind sock with empty bottles.
Materials used:

  • Empty water bottle with the bottom cut off. Use a single hole punch to put holes near the bottom of the bottle.
  • Colourful Ribbon cut in 20 inch strings. These will make the “tails” of the wind sock.
  • Sparkly mactac cut to cover the circumference of the bottle.
  • Twine, tied around the neck of the bottle to hang it in the tree.
Learning outcome for preschoolers:
Observation skills- Looking at the effects of wind on objects.

Visual stimulation- Bright colours help cheer up the outdoor play space in absence of leaves, greenery and flowers.