Sunday, April 29, 2012

Now webcasting live at a computer near you...

We are having so much fun with this little family project.

G-pie & J-cakes have been "doing preschool" and wanting to do even more crafts and science experiments and I have been looking into Ustream for other projects involved with and we have hit upon a great way to enjoy both our hobbies.

Our new channel "Learning Barefoot" has 1 regular series- "Preschool Fun with Grace & Joy", which is going to be webcast live on Wednesdays at 10am. We will also be featuring special guests, friends and other interesting segments- as well as new weekly shows (that we hope, will be) of interest to the homeschool world.

You are invited to join in the discussion by logging in to either twitter or facebook and commenting during the live show- or leaving a comment on this blogs's Learning Barefoot Channel Page.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Preschool Opp

The littles and I explored some colors, sorting, fine motor skill building while the big girl slept in.
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Doing Pinterest

Yesterday we made the DIY Bracelets that we had discovered on Pinterest. G-pie had noticed we had a lot of projects pinned and none done. So after doing the menu board, I created my "completed projects" board and have been inspired to do more (so I can fill that board on Pinterest, LOL!)... so many creative and crafty ideas.

G-pie made the bottom one for her Grandma's 60th birthday gift, while J-cakes and I made the top one, also for Grandma. Then we decided to make this tasty Kiss Gloss as a party favor for the fun celebration we shared with the family.

We made cinnamon flavor. It has a bit of a zing. But the candy melts and paraffin wax give it a nice consistency- it is super easy to make...

We used red candy melts, household paraffin wax, petroleum jelly and cinnamon candy flavoring. Along with the coconut oil, a baggie, a bowl of hot water and 9 sterilized bead containers from the craft store. We doubled the recipe given on Brooke's blog,, and next time I would probably cut down the cinnamon flavor. We have plenty left to try out the cherry and peppermint flavors that came with the set of oil based candy flavorings. I would love to try and make this a more natural gloss- replace the paraffin & vaseline with cocoa butter perhaps, and the artificial flavors with natural essential oils.

For this project I did finally get around to opening the new coconut oil that Tropical Traditions sent- and I also used it to make eggs yesterday morning (and to to rub down the potatoes and yams for baking for last night's dinner party). I am only comparing it to the other one I have tried, which we ordered from, from Wilderness Family Naturals.

Both are certified organic- I really need to do some research on the differences in extraction methods- the Tropical Traditions sounds better
"...the pure coconut water from inside the coconut is used to extract the coconut milk using traditional methods. Small scale family businesses [in the Phillipines] produce this oil in small batches, taking great care and pride in their work."
The Wilderness Family Naturals on the other hand is "mechanically expressed without the use of solvents or chemicals and 'super cleaned' using hot water and steam."
For dinner we grilled Tri-tip, fully loaded the baked potatoes, which turned out perfect- the skins were softer than when I have baked potatoes rubbed with other types of oil or fat. The coconut oil worked splendidly. It was also a good choice for the yams- which were terrific with a tiny bit of butter. We also had sour dough bread and a Spring Berry Herb & Feta Salad with TJ's Rosemary Pecans and TJ's Champagne Vinaigrette- wish I had taken a picture of it.

The family enjoyed the evening and my MIL seemed to appreciate the celebration. and look at the dessert my equally creative SIL brought... Sprinkles Cupcakes and cake pops, brownie bites, chocolate dipped marshmallows, Champagne- oh and ice cream from a place in Santa Barbara where the boys and their mom used to stop on road trips.

An abundance of delight and decadence!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Family Menu Planning

Finally made our own version of the menu planning board I discovered on Pinterest. Ours isn't quite as pretty, but I think we will add to it. Our push pins are color coded by who is in charge of making dinner that night- me, Sugar Daddy & G-pie each have 2 nights and then Saturdays are take out, or special occasions like parties and dates and such, usually- or leftovers! The top box stores menus we have the ingredients for currently and the box on the bottom will be for menus we want to save to repeat for sure- AND suggestions, cravings and grocery list requests!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Next year we will plant gardens

This year for Easter my children celebrated in the modern, traditional, commercial way.

I am not thrilled with how we "pulled it off"- baskets of candy, colored eggs that will scarcely be eaten (we actually did pretty good- lots of deviled eggs!). We brought plastic eggs filled with candy to the larger family occasion- and they got to have a fun egg hunt with their cousins.

Next year I will present all 4 of my children (although the one in my belly will only be a baby) with their own planter box/ fairy garden. I will select plants and make a little scene that is unique to their interests and personalities. There will be painted rocks, glittery things, flowers or succulents and zen gardens with stones for stacking. There will be baskets of fruit, homemade fruit leather, a special little bowl of candy... maybe a small handmade chocolate bunny.

We will keep their gardens current with our traditions and celebrations, and maybe I will leave regular notes of encouragement, special little handmade or found gifts in a special spot of each. We can decorate them for the seasons, replant and tend as necessary. Why wait until next year?

Starting pinning ideas...

Today we made our first official family fairy gardens- this is going to be such a fun thing to do together. As is all else in our life, this project will be a growing work- layers of progress & pauses, with a little procrastination peppered in.

After the kids went off to play, a grateful fairy left them little gifts in their gardens- a tiny pot for planting in G-pie's, a leprechaun figure for J-cakes' rainbow, and a tiny egg for C-dough's.

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