Halloween Puppy Chow

Halloween Puppy Chow 1

We are one day away from October which means its time to start thinking about Halloween.  I think next to Christmas and birthdays, Halloween is my kids favorite holiday.  And Im not going to lie, I enjoy the sweets and treats as much as they do.  Are you looking for an easy homemade recipe for your Halloween party or to send to school with your little ones? This Halloween Puppy Chow is just what you’re looking for!

Hey Grant Life friends! It’s Michaela from Covered in Mod Podge here to share a great Halloween treat! Puppy Chow is delicious to start with. Add Reese’s Pieces for some fun Halloween flair and this puppy chow is to die for! I’m planning on wrapping these up in plastic treat bags with a fun Halloween ribbon and sending them to school with my toddler.

Want to make your own? Here’s the recipe:

9 cups Chex (I used rice. But I think a mix of Rice and Chocolate would be amazing!)
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups Reese’s Pieces

Measure out the Chex into a large mixing bowl.

Melt peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter in small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir frequently to make sure you don’t burn the chocolate. Once everything has melted and is smooth, remove from heat and mix in vanilla.

Pour meted chocolate mixture over Chex and stir to evenly coat.

Pour half of the coated Chex into a gallon size Ziploc bag. Add half of the powdered sugar. Then, add the rest of the Chex and powdered sugar. Seal bag (and triple check so you don’t end up with the world’s largest mess on your hands…not that it happened to me or anything!) and shake until the Chex is coated in the powdered sugar. Add Reese’s Pieces and shake again.

Pour your Puppy Chow onto waxed paper paper to cool.

Store in an airtight container. Or, you and your family can go to town and eat it all before the day is done. Just saying….

Do you have any go to treats that you send to school with your kiddo’s for special occasions?
 

 

Check out Easy Halloween Ideas for more spooky inspiration!  

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Easy Homemade Craft: Abby Cadabby Style Wand

Are you looking for a quick handmade craft to delight your little princess? Well this Abby Cadabby Style Fairy Wand is just the ticket!
 
 
Hey there Grant Life friends. It’s Michaela again from Covered in Mod Podge. My two year old daughter is obsessed with Sesame Street. Really, what two year old isn’t? If you have a toddler in love with Sesame Street or a little girl in need of dress up material, this Abby Cadabby Style Fairy Wand is for you!
 
 
Supplies:
1/2 yd of tulle in 3 colors
Spool of ribbon (3 yds)
Cardboard to make pom pom template
Scissors
Small piece of embroidery floss or baker’s twine
Dowel or similar for base
Hot glue/gun
 
 
Start by cutting your tulle. You’ll want to cut all three colors into two-ish inch sections (this doesn’t have to be perfect). Then, cut your ribbon into four or five sections.
 
 
Now, let’s make your pom pom template. I traced a cereal bowl for the outside and a cup for the inside. Really, the inside hole should be smaller-more like a spool of thread. Cut out two of these templates.
 
 
Stack your templates on top of each other. Start wrapping your tulle around the circle, alternating colors as you go. Every third or forth piece of tulle, wrap one of your pieces of ribbon into the template.
 
After you’ve wrapped all of your tulle and ribbon, its time to cut. Snip a tinny hole on the edge of your template. Then, wiggle your scissors in between the two pieces of the template. Now, cut all the way around the circle. Be careful not to pull the template too far apart or things get interesting.
 
 
After cutting all the way around the template, run a small piece of twine in between the templates. Now pull tightly and triple knot.
 
 
Clip the ends of the twine and start fluffing your pom pom. You might have to trim some of the tulle and ribbon for everything to look nice and fluffy.
 
For my wand’s stick, I used a plastic balloon stick. Its a bit flimsy, but its what I had on hand. I would recommend using a small, painted wooden dowel.
 
To attach your pom pom to your stick, use copious amounts of hot glue. Yes, I said copious!
 
 
Now you’re all set to let your little one use with her new wand!

Blogging Tips: Pinterest Tip for iPhone Users

pinterest tip 5
If you’re anything like me, you use your phone is your lifeline to reality. Its how I take pictures, read blogs, and even use Pinterest. If you’re a Pinterest iPhone addict, you’ll want to check out this simple trick for keeping everything working smoothly!
 
Hey Grant Life Friends. Its Michaela back again from Covered in Mod Podge. I missed you all last month! 
 
I’ve had an iPhone for quite awhile now. My first one was an iPhone 2 that my husband got from a drawer at work. It was free! {Not to mention old, had no battery life and didn’t connect to the wifi} Regardless of these quirks, I loved this phone. Now I’ve had the wonderful chance to upgrade to an iPhone 4 and now an iPhone 5. 
 
Not long after getting my five, my lovely little phone told me I had no room to take more pictures. I had double the memory as with my last phone and had taken half the pictures. I was mad. And confused. And wanted to throw my phone. Thankfully my husband talked me down and then helped me find the solution.
 
Pinterest has a cache. In my wonderfully non-technical understanding, the Pinterest app saves every picture you click on. After awhile, this really starts to take up some space on your phone. So, in order to keep your memory free for all those pictures, there’s a super quick fix.
 
 
Start out by opening your app and clicking on the little person in the bottom right corner. This leads you to your profile. Then click on the little cog in the top left corner to get to your settings.
 
 
From your settings page, click on “Account Settings.”
 
 
Scroll all the way down. You see the number next to cached data? That’s how much memory your taking up. Now this is what I rack up in about a week. If you’ve never cleared it, it could be a lot larger. This next part could therefore take awhile. Click on “Clear Browsing History” and “Clear Image Cache.” 
 
 
Like I said before, if this is your first time clearing things it could take a couple of minute. If you do this weekly, it will be just a couple of seconds. 
 
Just a few moments of your time and you’ll be good to keep snapping pictures and browsing Pinterest on your iPhone. 
 
A note to my Android and Windows using friends. I know Pinterest has an app for you guys. I’m guessing it behaves similarly and that the steps for clearing your cache will be similar as well. I just don’t have access to these phones to check it out for you. If you try this trick on a different platform, let us know how it worked in the comments!
 
Anyone have any other great tips for making the most of Pinterest on your phone?  And feel free to follow me on Pinterest as well!  



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Easy Homemade Recipe: Toddler Green Smoothie

Toddler Green Smoothie 1
Up until a couple of months ago, my toddler ate whatever I put in front of her.  She’s still a great eater, overall.  However, she has regularly started turning her nose up at veggies.  I keep offering her veggies at every easy homemade recipe.   I know this is the best way to eventually see her getting back on the veggie eating band wagon.  In the mean time, I’m looking for ways to sneak veggies into her meals.   These toddler green smoothies are a great way to hide some veggies in a yummy tasting drink!

 

 

To make two servings, you’ll need:
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach, rinsed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (if you use frozen berries, defrost them slightly)
  • 1 banana
  • water or milk as needed
I use my food processor because my blender is a bit of a wimp. The food processor allows for you to really pure the living daylights out of the spinach and carrot. This is the key for creating a drink with a good texture.

 

Start out by blending your spinach and about 2 tbps of water or milk for 2 minutes. Scrape sides occasionally. Then, add your carrot. Blend again for 2 minutes, scraping sides as needed. This should leave you with very well pureed carrot and spinach.

 

Now, add your Greek yogurt and blend until combined. Then, add the berries and blend for about a minute (more if using slightly defrosted berries). Finally, add your banana and bled for another minute. Add more milk or water, 1 tbsp at a time, if you need to thin out the mixture.

 

 

Pour a glass for your toddler and then store the second serving in an airtight container. It should keep for about two days.

 

So does this taste like a pile of veggies? Nope! Banana is the most prominent flavor. You can taste the berries and yogurt as well. I think it’s tasty! Both my husband and I have been known to drink the second serving rather than giving it to our daughter the next day.

 

Hopefully, the little miss will start remembering that veggies are yummy. Until then, I’ll keep looking for ways to increase her veggie intake in secret. Do you guys have any hints or recipes! I’d love some ideas!

 

Looking for more healthy recipes?  Check out:

20 Easy and Healthy Recipes

5 Smoothie Recipes

Washi Tape Bookmarks

Washi Tape Bookmarks 7

I can not believe that July is almost over and the stores are filling up with back to school merchandise.  I always enjoyed back to school time because you get new clothes and notebooks and shoes.  You learn a new schedule and meet up with your old friends.  I wish I had some washi tape when I was in school so that I could make these washi tape bookmarks.  They are such an easy homemade craft that are oh so cute!  Perfect for back to school too!

 
Hey there Grant Life readers! It’s Michaela from Covered in Mod Podge again. I’m here today to share with you a super quick little craft- Washi Tape Bookmarks!
 
 
Like most of us in blog-land, I love Washi Tape. Its versatile, adorable, and easy to work with. So, grab your favorite Washi Tape, some paperclips, and get to work!
 
 
Start out by cutting a two inch long strip of tape. Then, thread it through the top of your paperclip.
 
 
Fold the tape towards itself bringing the sticky sides together. You’ll have to scrunch up the tape at the top of the paperclip to make everything fit well.
 
 
Finally, trim the top of your tape into a cute little shape. Then you’re done. Two minutes tops!
 
 
Since I’m working on my Master’s in Social Work, I’m always knee deep into at least four different books. I love using paperclips as bookmarks because it allows me to mark the actual paragraph that I’m on {rather than just the page}.
 
 
Beyond making a little army of these things for yourself, make a bunch to give as gifts. These are perfect for little “Thank You,” “Hi,” or even teacher gifts. Add a cute tag and you’re set. A great present made with materials on hand…my favorite kind!
 
I’d love to see the Washi Tape Bookmarks you make! You can email me pictures at coveredinmodpodge {at} gmail {dot} com!
 

 

Looking for similar crafts?  Check out..

Easy Summer Crafts for Kids

Give Old Crayons New Life

Pom Pom Container

Big Border Baby Blanket Tutorial

Big Border Baby Blanket - DIY Boutique Baby Blanet
Hey there Grant Life friends! It’s Michaela from Covered in Mod Podge again. I’m here today to share a tutorial for a fun baby blanket. This blanket features a big border and is perfect for showing off two fun fabrics!
Want to make your own? You’ll need:
1 1/4 yd of flannel
1 yd of contrasting flannel
Contrasting thread
Rotary cutter/mat
Start out by cutting your back fabric to 42 by 42 inches. Then, cut your front fabric to 32 by 32 inches. You can honestly make this blanket any sized. I like the look of a very thick border. Therefore, I make my back fabric 10 inches larger than my front fabric.
Find a large, clean work space. Lay your back fabric down, right side up.
Then, put your front fabric on top, right side down. You’ll want to center your fabric on the edge of one side. So, you’ll have five inches of back fabric on each side of your front fabric.
Sew along this edge, using your presser foot your seam allowance guide. Start and stop your seam 1/4 inch from the beginning and then end.  Back stitch at the beginning and end of your seam.
Now you’ll move your blanket back to the ground. Its time to center your front fabric along the edge of the next side of your back fabric. You’ll again have five inches on either side of your front fabric. This will form a triangle of your back fabric on the side where you had sewn along the other edge.
Sew again, starting and stopping leaving 1/4 inch on each side.
Continue on the same way with your third side. On your fourth side, make sure you leave a 5 inch gap in the middle for turning.
Alright, now its time to get rid of all that excess fabric floating around. You’ll do this by cutting off the fabric at the corners. Start by making a triangle with the excess back fabric on one corner.
Fold the tip of the triangle down to the edge where your front fabric is.
Cut along the fold. Now sew along the open edge you just create.
Repeat for all four corners.
Go ahead and turn your blanket. Press well, making sure to turn in the fabric from your turning gap.
When you turn your blanket, make sure your corners are pushed out all the way.
Now, top stitch along the seam between the front and back fabrics. Make sure you’re careful to close the gap you left for turning the blanket.
Once you get the hang of this blanket, you’ll easily be able to make it in 30 minutes, cutting included!
Use your scraps for a bow and you have a simple, affordable baby gift!

 

Love this post?  Check out the other amazing things Michaela has made!

Boutique Baby Blanket Tutorial 9 Diaper Changing Pad Clutch 16 Car Seat Canopy Tutorial 16

Baked Italian Chicken Meatballs

Italian Chicken Meatballs 8
Hey Grant Life friends! It’s Michaela from Covered in Mod Podge again. I’m excited to be here today to share a delicious recipe with you all.
I love to cook. But I also am pressed for time. So I love recipes that do double duty {hehe…I said duty. Sounds like dooty. Yes, my humor is as sophisticated as a 12 year old boy’s.} or that freeze beautifully. This delicious Baked Italian Chicken Meatball Recipe comes together quickly, freezes like a dream, is a healthier alternative to traditional meatballs, and is tasty to boot!
These meatballs use ground chicken. You could also use ground turkey or even ground beef. I HIGHLY prefer ground chicken to turkey. Ground chicken is moist, and has a more mellow flavor. Ground chicken is also easy to find these days. I picked mine up at Target! Also, these little gems are baked. Frying them in the pan is an option. But to me, baking them is fool-proof. Its so much easier and healthier {no oil}.
Ingredients:
1 lb. ground chicken
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan
1 tbsp. basil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes {or more to taste}
1 egg
All all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with your hand.
Shape into balls and place on a greased baking sheet or a silicone baking mat. {I like to use my silicone baking mat so the cheese that oozes out gets all crispy and yummy.} One pound of ground chicken will get you 12 golf ball sized meatballs.
Bake in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. You can either split one open to make sure its cooked through or use a meat thermometer to check that its at an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.
If I really have things together, I like to bake these guys during nap time. Then, I throw the meatballs I want to use that night for dinner into a pan with spaghetti sauce {jarred…shhh don’t tell}. Then, I simmer them on low until dinner time. If I don’t have it together, I just throw them on the plate straight from the oven. They still taste great.
To freeze these guys let them cool on the counter for about 30 minutes. Then wrap them up in tin foil and store in a freezer bag. When I’m looking to use them {meatball subs anyone?}, I let them defrost in the fridge. You can throw them in the sauce to warm up/simmer.
What’s your favorite recipe that you freeze? I’m always on a look out for a good recipe that I can freeze leftovers!

DIY Bird Feeder

How to Make a DIY Bird Feeder this Summer

My husband has started to rub off on me lately.  He is really into plants and birds and I have started to pick up a few things from him.  Its fun to watch the birds outside the window that hang out in our trees.  The kids and the cats love it too!  We created this diy bird feeders last week to attract some new bird friends and keep the old ones happy.  It was such a fun craft to do with the kids.

How to Make a DIY Bird Feeder this Summer

 

Oh, and they were super easy to make too!  All you need is:

  • Pectin or Unflavored Gelatin
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Twine
  • Straw or Stick
  • Cooking Spray
  • Foil

How to make custom bird feeders

 

We made a big batch of them and used a bunch of different shapes.  [Yes, that is a skull shaped cookie cutter!  When they are on sale for 25 cents you just buy it.]

  • Combine your gelatin with boiling water according to the package you use.
  • Then add your birdseed.
  • Wait until it starts to clump together.
  • Spray your cookie cutters with cooking spray.
  • Put your cookie cutters on a piece of foil.
  • Smush your birdseed mixture into the cutter.
  • Add a straw or stick to the center to create a hole.
  • Wait until it hardens.  [We added ours to the freezer to speed up the process.]
  • Add your string and hang it outside.

DIY Bird Feeders

Enjoy your new bird feeder and the birds that come by to check it out!

Summer craft for kids - make your own bird feeder

 

A fun and easy craft that will make even the birds happy!

summerfuncamp2013mainbutton2

 

You may have noticed the Summer Fun button on the side of the blog.  I am a camp counselor over at Summer Fun Camp 2013!  Its a group a bloggers that share crafty ideas to help keep your kids entertained and active during the summer.  Cool, right?  Kirsten from One Tough Mother put it all together and I was privileged to be part of the fun!  Plus, there is a fun giveaway from the Hair Bow Company this week!  [Its a win win, folks!]
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stenciled Toddler Hoodie Tutorial

Stamped Polka Dot Toddler Hoodie Tutorial

Stenciled Toddler Hoodie Tutorial

Hey Grant Life readers. It’s Michaela again from Covered in Mod Podge. Today I want to share with you a simple way to dress up a boring old hoodie. This stamping method is a quick, super easy nap time project. If you have older kiddos, they could even help out!
I love the look of toddlers in dresses styled with leggings, cardigans, and adorable headbands. However, I haven’t found this to be terribly practical. My little miss thinks that things on her head are pure evil. She is also always on the move. So, its much more likely that my little miss is running around in leggings, a t-shirt, and a hoodie.

 

But, there’s no reason that hoodie can’t be absolutely adorable. On a recent trip to Target I snagged a plain grey hoodie on clearance. While it fit the bill for what we needed, it was just so blah. So I decided to jazz it up using only paint and a pencil.
You read that right. All you need is fabric paint or regular old acrylic and a fabric medium {I got mine at Joann’s} and a pencil with a brand spanking new eraser. Ok, you also need an iron, a work space, and some wax paper/cardboard, too.
Start out by putting down wax paper or craft paper to protect your work space. Then, mix your paint up according to the bottle’s directions.
Make sure that you either have wax paper or cardboard between the fabric anywhere it overlaps. You don’t want your paint seeping through! I used waxed paper because it was easier to manipulate and shove into the random corners of places like the pockets.
Now, go to town with your dots.

 

A couple of tips. Make sure you don’t have too much paint on your eraser. It will bleed everywhere and make a funky shaped dot. Press down firmly when making your dot. You can always add a bit more paint and go over the dot a second time if you need to. This doesn’t have to be perfect. There’s a lot of character in the less than perfect dots!

 

I  used a blow dryer on low heat to help the drying process along. This let me finish doing all the dots in one sitting.

 

After you finish up, you’ll want to heat set your paint. This makes it so they won’t fade in the wash. Follow the directions on your bottle. For me, I had to wait 24 hours before ironing the hoodie. The bottle also says to wash inside out.
Given that this hoodie is for my dirt loving little miss, it’s already been through the wash three times. The paint still looks good as new. I’m sure it will fade a bit with the excessive washing that a toddler demands. I think that adds character and will give the hoodie a nice vintage vibe.
This quick and easy technique can be used on a variety of items. You can also get super creative and carve different shapes into the eraser.

 

What’s you favorite toddler look?

Ribbon Medallion Tutorial

It’s Michaela from Covered in Mod Podge again. I’m here to share a tutorial on how to make a fun little Ribbon Medallion.
I rarely decorate for holidays or seasons {Christmas aside}. So to keep some changing decor in my life, I try to change out the wreath on my front do every month. Sometimes I make a new wreath and others I recycle ones form the past.
For May’s wreath, I decided to make something new. I wanted a lot of texture, so I used ribbon, felt, and fabric and went to town making different kinds of flowers.
My favorite part of this wreath are defiantly the ribbon medallions. This fun hounds tooth ribbon was very affordable at Joann’s.
Want to make your own medallions?
You’ll need:
1/2 yard of ribbon
Thread
Needle
Hot glue/gun
Start out by threading your needle with a double thickness of thread, knotting the end. Run a gathering stitch along one edge of your ribbon. You’ll want your stitches spaced out about 1/2 inch. Don’t knot when you get to the end.
Pull your thread to start to gather the ribbon. This will help the next step.
Starting from the end where you ended your stitches, accordion fold your ribbon. You’ll want to keep pulling your thread tighter as you pleat the ribbon into accordion folds.
Keep pleating until you reach the beginning of the ribbon. Keeping your thread pulled tight and your ribbon stacked, triple knot the end of the thread right up against the stack.
Let go and your little stack should fill out into the medallion shape.
For finishing off your loose ends, there’s two ways to go. You could always hand stitch the ends together. Or, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to quick and painless way. Run a strip of hot glue down one end of the ribbon. Carefully line up the other edge and gently press together. Keep pressing until the glue cools a bit.
The sky is really the limit with these little guys. You can add buttons or jewels to embellish the centers. I made a fabric yo-yo to jazz up one of my medallions. I left the other one naked {hehehe…naked}. These would make great bows for presents, look awesome on hair clips or head bands, or be the perfect touch for your summer wreath.
Do you decorate for every season? What’s your favorite to decorate for?