Activities · Boredom · Boredom Buster · Experience · Family · Food Dye Activity · Kids · Kids activities · Moms · Rainy day · Rice · Rice sensory play · Sensory · Sensory Activity · Uncategorized · Youth

Sensory Rice Bin

I am generally looking for things to keep my kiddos from asking to watch TV or complain of boredom. I love sensory activities (partially because I also enjoy playing with them too). Sensory rice bins are inexpensive to make, simple and easy to make too!

Here is what you need:

  • Rice (I bought a 10 pound bag at Walmart for less than $5)
  • White Vinegar
  • Food dye (I used gel dyes because I love the bright colors)
  • Plastic ziplock bags
  • Measuring cup (1 Cup) and spoon (1Tbs)
  • Fillers for hiding, creative play, etc. I found some fun fillers in the party aisle at Walmart and also raided our craft closet for popsicle sticks, Pom poms, etc.
  • Container for play

What to do:

  • Scoop out your rice by the cup full and place it into a ziplock bag. I did four cups of rice for each color, you can adjust for as much or little as you need.
  • Add 1Tbs of white vinegar per cup of rice
  • Put as little or as much food dye as you like depending on the color you want
  • Close up the bag and shake until the rice and dye have combined fully. If the rice is very wet, just add a little more rice to the bag. Let dry fully.
  • Repeat the process for each color you are making
  • Once dry, pour into a container for play

*We will be doing this activity outside on our deck, but please use caution as rice can be harmful to some animals, like birds. We will be enjoying our sensory time on top of a beach towel for easy clean up.

On a side note, be sure to close your ziplock bag tightly when shaking. Otherwise, you will end like me: the crazy lady in the neighborhood vacuuming her deck. Outside. 😂

Enjoy this fun activity and please share your thoughts, pictures, and filler ideas with us!

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

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Asparagus · Bake · Be Good to You · Dinner · Enjoying life · Experience · Food · Life · Making it all work · Moms · Onion · Ragu · Recipes · Stuffed shells · Taking time · To do · Uncategorized

Simple Stuffed Shells Bake

There are some days that I am just not into thinking about making dinner. I make decisions all day long and what to eat can feel overwhelming at times. Silly, I know, but true.

Anyway, A few nights back I took a chance and threw some things in a pan, baked it, and the results were AWESOME! So here it is.

From my dysfunctional kitchen to yours….

Stuffed Shell Bake

What you need:

  • Package of frozen stuffed shells
  • Family size jar of Alfredo sauce. I used Ragu because I had a coupon for it and got it for $1.50!
  • Fresh vegetables, I used asparagus, carrots and celery. If I had an onion, that would have gone in there too. I wouldn’t recommend frozen vegetables if you want them to be a little crisp when you eat
  • Seasoning of your choice. I went with some dried parsley and a cracked pepper blend with garlic powder and celery powder
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

What to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Spread your frozen stuffed shells out in a shallow baking pan. I used a 9×13
  • Wash and dice your vegetables, then lay them out evenly in the pan with the stuffed shells
  • Sprinkle with your seasonings
  • Pour the sauce over everything in the pan and stir it up good so it is all coated evenly
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees
  • Uncover and if you want sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for another 5 minutes
  • Serve and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

*Adjust accordingly if you are making a double size of the recipe. I would suggest a second jar of sauce if using two bags of frozen stuffed shells.

Please come back and share if you decided to try this out. It was a hit in our house and the leftovers were even better.

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

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Activities · Balance · Be Good to You · Beauty · Boredom · Box Subscription · Enjoying life · Experience · FabFitFun · Fashion · Fitness · Jewelry · Life · Making it all work · Making time · Moms · Rainy day · Spoil Yourself · Take a deep breathe · Taking time

So, I spoiled myself with some retail therapy….

So I saved a ton of money doing my holiday shopping through Ebates and Ibotta. I decided to use that money as a little spoil gift for myself and I signed up for the FabFitFun Editors box and a year subscription (mailed with each season). I have to say, I am super excited for this box of goodies including a poncho, necklace, muscle soak, nourishing dew mask, eyeshadow palette, and other fun stuff. If you need a little pampering, I seriously suggest checking this out 👌🏻

FabFitFun is the perfect way to treat yourself!

I get $200+ of amazing, FULL-SIZED beauty, fashion, wellness, and home decor products for just $49.99 and I’m loving it. Use my code to get $10 off your first box!

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Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

Activities · Art · Blessed · Crayons · Enjoying life · Family · Kids · Kids activities · Kohls · Life · Moms · Parenting · Recycled · Recycling · Sensory · Wilton · Youth

Crayon Recycling

We recently made recycled multi colored “Elsa” snowflake crayons. To make your own new crayons just follow these easy steps and get to coloring!

Take all of your broken and beat up crayons (even the little pieces) and peel all of the paper off.

Either make little cups out of foil or use oven safe cups like a ramekin. Have enough cups for as many colors as you want to make. You can also put several colors in one cups, just don’t mix them up together.

Place the crayon pieces in the cups in the color pairings you want or alone – please make sure it’s oven safe. The foil makes for easy clean up too.

Melt the crayons in the cups in the oven. I was baking prior to making these, so I just left the oven at 350 degrees.

Keep an eye on the crayons and when they are melted remove from the oven.

For the next step you will need a silicone baking tray. I used this Wilton snowflake shaped tray that I got on clearance from Kohl’s.

Pour the melted crayons into the compartments of the tray. You can layer colors or pour different colors at the same time.

Let cool and then pop out and get to coloring with your kiddos – or by yourself, I have had a lot of fun with these too!

Enjoy!

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

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Activities · Art · Blessed · Enjoying life · Experience · Family · Friendship · Kids · Kids activities · Life · Making time · Moms · Parenting · Relationships · Take a deep breathe · Taking time · Thanksgiving · Tree of Thanks · Uncategorized · Youth

Family Tree of Thanks

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am trying to teach my little kiddos all about thanks. Why we celebrate thanks, what feeling blessed means, the ins and outs of appreciating all that we have and what the important things in life are.

After dinner one night we made a Family Tree of Thanks that simply hangs on our dining room wall among the wedding photos and artwork. It’s simple, but effective and the kids had fun doing it. All you need to make yours is:

  • Construction paper: we used two sheets of brown for the tree and one sheet of red, orange, green, and yellow for the leaves 🍁
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Marker or pen

Cut out the shape of a tree. I used one piece of paper for the branches and one for the trunk and taped them together (the leaves will cover and lines from where it’s pieces together). Adjust the size of your tree if needed to accommodate more or less family members. Tape or glue your tree together.

Cut out leaves. 🍁 You can either draw them or freehand cut. If your kids are old enough to cut them out, get them involved in the process! ✂️

Go around your table and one at a time say what you are thankful for. We wrote all of the answers down. Everything from our house to chips. The silly answers are just fun and the more serious ones are quite humbling to hear. As the parent, you can also guide the blessings along by providing examples in your answers.

Have your kids help you tape or glue the leaves on and then hang your tree for all to see. Go back and discuss your tree and blessings now through Thanksgiving.

This could also be a great project to do on Thanksgiving with extended family!

Art · Boredom · Enjoying life · Experience · Family · GoodNites · Kids · Kids activities · Moms · Parenting · Relationships · Taking time · Uncategorized · Youth

Easy Stick Puppets

If you are anything like me, you probably try to keep things as simplified as possible. I am always looking for ways to have fun with my kids, but not spend a fortune.

I was breaking down the box from a recent purchase of GoodNites underwear when I got the idea to use the Tinkerbell picture as a puppet.

The steps are easy:

  • Cut out the character (there are several to choose from in both the girls and boys packaging)
  • Smooth out any rough edges with the scissors ✂️
  • Flip the cutout over and tape or glue sticks, straws, etc (something to use as the handle – we used two straws taped together)
  • That’s it! Put on a puppet show, dress your character up with paper hats, Pom Poms, anything you can think of. Let the imagination take flight and watch your little ones have fun!

Feel free to share this post with friends, on Pinterest, Facebook, etc.

*Just as a side note, we love the GoodNites brand in our house. We have been using them for two years now and haven’t had a single leak, rash, or problem the entire time. They slip on and off easy and aren’t incredibly bulky either. Check them out here:

For the ones featured in my blog click here (there is a $3 coupon available on Amazon Prime

http://amzn.to/2gJSUyD