St. Patrick’s Day TRAPS & TRICKS

St Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays!

I’m not sure if it’s because green is my favorite color or memories from my Irish grandma. Every year my kids build a leprechaun trap in hopes of catching the mischievous little guy before he reeks havoc on our house.

10377025_10206149515523870_8316433611616454908_nWhat you will need:

  • A base to decorate (cardboard or a sheet of thick card stock)
  • A box for the trap (can be built from popsicle sticks, an old tissue box, cereal box ect.)
  • Shiny gold coins to attract the leprechaun to your trap
  • Paint or decorate with rainbow somewhere on or near the trap so the leprechaun will follow it to the end
  • You will need some type of stick to keep the door or roof propped up, but don’t glue it as it will need to fall to shut the lid
  • For this trap my daughter collected a few pieces of shamrock confetti, the shamrock stick from her cupcake, orange, white and green flowers, and a few shiny gems.

1524823_10206149515723875_1438077870713499658_nWe have yet to catch that sneaky little leprechaun, but he always leaves a fun trail throughout the house as he makes his way to our trap.

Leprechaun mischief :

  • dye the toilet green (a few drops of green food coloring)
  • have the faucet run green (hide green color tablet inside the faucet filter)
  • green paint foot trail – its amazing how his feet are the SAME size as our Dora doll 😉
  • green streamers hanging from the door way (or crisscrossed  across door frame to trap in the older kids)
  • green and white balloons covering the floor of the childs bedroom

The leprechaun usually leaves a trail of gold coins leading outside where he hides a fun St. Patrick’s day treat or small toy for the kids!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What fun ways do you celebrate with your little ones??

~Amy~

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Grab a book, find a nook and join us Monday March 2nd for Read Across America Day!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Grab a book, find a nook and join us Monday March 2nd for Read Across America Day!

Elephants are my daughters favorite animal which might have something to do with “Horton Hears A Who!” being one of our favorite books to read. I love that it teaches the lesson that “A persons a person , no matter how small” and that kids CAN make a difference!

After reading the book with your child discuss ways that they can be helpful whether it be at school, at home or in your community.

To celebrate Read Across America an NEA project we made a fun treat and craft we want to share with you!

10953285_10206106500208514_7447860360478760353_nWhoville Flower Cupcakes

What you will need:

  • 2 packages mini cupcakes with blue or grey frosting (color used as elephant trunk)
  • About 5 green straws cut into 4 pieces as the stem (Starbucks straws work great for this)
  • 1 medium size bag of pink cotton candy (form small chunks around the straw before inserting into the cupcake)
  • If your up for the challenge try and attach a white circle sprinkle with a dab of icing to the cotton candy flower

10942740_10206106500368518_6610876333797691669_nHorton Hand Craft

What you will need:

  • 1 sheet of white paper
  • 1 sheet of grey paper
  • a piece of green and pink paper
  • markers
  • hole puncher

How to assemble:

  • have child trace hand on grey paper and cut it out
  • glue hand shape to white paper then draw on Hortons features
  • snip a green piece of paper for the stem and glue onto the edge of the thumb
  • hole punch a piece of pink paper and use the circle for the flower
  • draw on the phrase “A Persons A Person No Matter How Small” and have child color in the background

Take the pledge and share your ideas and events HERE: http://www.readacrossamerica.org/

~Amy~

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Skys Coconut Soup

I have one of the worlds pickiest blandest eaters in my home, but this soup just happens to be her FAVORITE!

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If you like tofu and don’t mind the subtle taste of coconut then give our coconut soup recipe a try, I have learned to keep these ingredients on hand weekly during the winter months.

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What you will need:

  • 2 bags of frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 containers of veggie stock
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups rice ( jasmine or brown rice)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • seasoning (sea salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, turmeric)

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How to make Skys Coconut Soup:

  • Cook veggie stock on medium heat add in broccoli, seasonings,& garlic then cover (add rice now too if not using instant)
  • Cut tofu in small cubes and add into pot (I’m lucky if any tofu makes it into the pot! my kids swipe it and LOVE to eat it raw!! I don’t get it, but they love it that way…. maybe since it was one of their first foods as a baby, taste buds are just used to tofu that way…not sure… but either way they’re eating it !!)
  • Cook on medium high heat for 35 minutes
  • Add in the rice ( if instant or frozen) and coconut milk then cook for another 15 minutes

* If your littles are not as picky as mine, I like to saute the tofu with onion and pepper before adding in 🙂

(Around Christmas time I like to call this Christmas soup and add in fresh red peppers so it’s green , red and white!)

~Amy~

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15 days of celebrating the Chinese New Year 2015

In America we celebrate New Years Eve transitioning into New Year’s Day on January 1st. In China, New Year’s Day is also the first day of the first month but of the Lunar Calendar!

Chinese New Year dates vary each year and could fall at the end of January or February. This Year Chinese New Year will fall on February 19th and last for 15 days ending on the first full moon of the year.

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Each year is assigned an animal according to the Chinese zodiac, 2015 is the year of the goat!

 Here is a list of fun crafts and recipes to try for each day in the Chinese New Year celebration:

  1. Blossom Tree craft: http://www.marthastewart.com/265472/tissue-cherry-blossom-tree
  2. Chinese Dragon puppet craft: http://www.freekidscrafts.com/chinese-dragon-puppet/
  3. Year of the Goat craft: http://mommysbundle.com/new-years-craft-kids-year-goat/
  4. Origami:  http://www.origami-fun.com/origami-for-kids.html
  5.  Pineapple tarts: http://rasamalaysia.com/pineapple-tarts/
  6.  Learn to eat with chopsticks: http://www.lauraleighparker.com/2011/02/teach-kids-chopsticks/
  7.  Paper fan craft: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/chinese-fan-craft
  8.  Kueh bahulu  (sponge cakes): http://www.qlkitchen.com/festive-kuih-bahulu-recipe/
  9.  Make a red letter envelope: http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/World/chineseredenvelope/chineseredenvelope.html
  10.  Make a Chinese banner: http://organizeyourstuffnow.com/wordpress/chinese-year-banner
  11.  Chinese firecracker craft: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/chinese-firecracker-craft
  12.  Learn a Chinese New Year greeting: http://www.china-family-adventure.com/chinese-new-year-greetings.html#.VOSsQi6m79M
  13.  Chinese New Year games: http://chinesenew-year.com/chinese-new-year-2015-games-for-kids-and-people/
  14.  Longevity noodle recipe (sub black beans or tofu for a veg friendly option):http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/longevity-noodles-0
  15. Chinese lantern craft: http://www.china-family-adventure.com/how-to-make-chinese-lanterns.html#.VOSryC6m79M

~Amy~

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Presidents Day – Lincolns’ Log Cabin

Grab a bag of pretzels and build a fun snack for the kids this Presidents Day!!

Honest Abe Lincolns kid friendly ‘Log Cabin’ snack

Honest Abe Lincolns Log Cabin
Honest Abe Lincolns Log Cabin

What you will need:

  • Tube of white or brown decorating icing
  • Medium sized pretzels
  • Graham crackers (we used the Annie’s organic brand, when breaking the crackers you have two size options perfect for the roof, a long piece for the flat part connecting pretzels and short pieces for the peak)

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Fun fact:

If you look at the Lincoln Memorial on the back of an old penny, you can see Abraham Lincoln sitting inside!

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We would love to hear how you incorporate the presidents on Presidents Day!

~Amy~

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Ice Sculpture Festival

Some of you might remember Ed Jarrett, four time Guinness World Record holder for the tallest sand castle!

He is also the man who built the Sandy-castle to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims right here on Point Pleasant Beach. We had the chance to meet him back then and volunteer in his bucket brigade to help in the build of the Sandy-castle.

Ed Jarrett on right on top of Sandy castle
Ed Jarrett on right on top of Sandy castle

From sand to snow he has now teamed up with the Ice Sculpture Festival at Laurita Winery and will have sculptures on display for the whole family to enjoy Saturday, February 21 11am-8pm and Sunday, February 22 11am-7pm.

Sculptures on display:

  • Fire & Ice truck where you can sit in the driver’s seat
  • Fire-breathing dragon luge
  • “Warm Hug” field of Snowmen
  • An ice sculpting demo stage
  • A frosty photo booth

With temperatures dropping the weather is perfect for the ice sculptures, but be sure to bundle up to stay warm you will be outside!

Laurita Winery will be serving up some food and a list of warm drinks for you to enjoy while you explore the festival.

Drinks available:

  • Award winning wines
  • Legendary sangria
  • Spiked hot chocolate
  • Hot apple wine ciders

Grab the family for this winter wonderland event, go early to enjoy classic winter activities and entertainment. Then stay late for the lighting ceremony at dusk and fireworks at 7pm (Saturday night only).

Photo courtesy of Big Brother Big Sister of Ocean County
Photo courtesy of Big Brother Big Sister of Ocean County

*A portion of the proceeds of this event will go directly to benefit Big Brother Big Sister of Ocean County. http://www.bbbsoc.org/

Tickets available online: http://lauritawinery.com

General Admission $6

Children (4-17) $4

65+ and active military $4

Laurita Winery, 35 Archertown Road, New Egypt, NJ 08533

~Amy~

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CONTEST ! Jamberry nail wrap Giveaway!

Since February is Heart Health Awareness Month, Jamberry is happy to announce that they’ve partnered with the American Heart Association to create a new charity wrap that will help the fight against heart disease.

On average, 1 in 3 women dies from heart disease, and as an organization founded by women, Jamberry wants to join the fight. The Heart Health Awareness wraps (which is a There’s More wrap) are available for purchase and a $2 donation will be given to the AHA with each wrap sold.

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***Contest*** 1 winner will receive a FREE Heart Health Awareness wrap!

How to enter:

Don’t forget to COMMENT on our post when you have done all 3!! GOOD LUCK!

We hope you will join us in this cause and order your Heart Health Awareness wraps so you can join us in wearing red this February.

About Jamberry:

  • Heat activated non toxic nail wraps
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Made in the USA
  • $15 per sheet (2 manicures & 2 pedicures per sheet)
  • Always Buy 3 Get 1 FREE

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You can order your Heart Health Awareness Wrap here:

http://www.amymelnick.jamberrynails.net/product/heart-health-awareness#.VNk_ni6m79M

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~Amy~

 

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Strawberry Sweetheart Smoothie

Forget the heart shaped doughnut for breakfast, grab a Strawberry Sweetheart Smoothie!

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What you will need:

  • 1 Cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 Cups Chocolate almond milk
  • Vegan protein powder (shown here are 2 of my favorites)
  • For a stronger chocolate flavor go with Juice Plus Dutch Chocolate ( amyforsythe.juiceplus.com )
  • For a balance of strawberry and chocolate go with Arbonne vanilla (www.mj.myarbonne.com)

Blend, Drink & Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe ? please share it with us !

~Amy~

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Family Date Night at Jenkinsons

Couldn’t find a babysitter for a Valentines Date night? No problem! we have you covered!!

Jenkinsons is offering a date night with fun for the whole family!

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We love that we are able to enjoy the Jenkinsons aquarium in the off season. They host fun family events all year long, so check out their calendar for a list of more upcoming events !

http://jenkinsons.com/aquarium/

TIPS:

  • Dress warm and in layers  Jenkinsons, the sweet shop, arcade and aquarium are all close but you will be in and out of warm buildings going to each location
  • Bring cash for parking (on event days they usually charge for the parking lot directly by the aquarium) but there is always street parking for free in the off season so if it’s not too cold and you don’t mind a short walk you can save a few dollars
  • Hang on to your playcards, you can reload the dollar amount when they are done and save them for the summer
  • Bring a camera, Jenkinsons always does a great job decorating for the holidays so keep an eye out for some festive photo opportunities

 

 

penguin exhibit at Jenkinsons aquarium
penguin exhibit at Jenkinsons aquarium

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~&~

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~Amy~