Thank You Postcards

Postcard Pink

 

I hope you all had a nice Holiday. Now that I'm nearly done clearing away all the debris and finding room for all the new stuff, it's time to think about writing thank you notes. I'll admit, that even though I design cards, I don't send nearly enough thank yous. I made these little postcards for my kids to send out. I love the idea of letting them help, and I think it's a great teaching opportunity.

My kindergartener is pretty good at writing brief sentences, and these offer plenty of space for him. I created girl and boy versions for you to use. The cards come in four colors…simply print them on letter sized card stock, cut in quarters, and help your kids fill in the blanks.

Then stick them in the mail and Ta-Da! Your little ones just learned a great lesson about showing gratitude.

Get your free postcards here:

Boy Postcard

Girl Postcard

 

Signature

Post by Christina Williams : justcallmechris.blogspot.com

String Beads

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We’ve mentioned here and here how much our kids like to make patterns. And I like it when my kids are busy, so I put together this String Beads kit with hope that my boys will stay busy using these beads to make patterns, sort colors and shapes and practice their fine motor skills.

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I love the look of wood toys, so I wanted to use wooden beads. Rather than painting the beads, I decided to dye them. The dying process was quick and simple—although slightly messy.

You will need
:: Unfinished wood beads in various shapes and sizes (most any craft store sells them)
:: Rit dye of various colors (I used fuchsia, teal and royal blue)
:: Spray polyurethane (optional)
:: Bowl for each color
:: Plastic spoon for each color
:: Old towel that will get dye on it
:: Hot water
:: Plastic sorting container
:: Leather cording, shoelaces or similar string
:: Printable template for labeling your box

1 :: Set up bowls you’ll be putting the dye in. Next to each bowl set out the beads you plan to dye in that color. (I evenly divided each bead type among the various colors.)

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2 :: Make the dye according to the directions on the package. (I used only 1/3 of the dye powder in each package and adjusted the water accordingly.) Add your beads to the bowls.       Stir the beads immediately to coat with color. Let soak, if necessary. (Each set of beads was in the dye solution for under one minute, so be prepared to move quickly.)

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3 :: Remove beads from the dye bath. Place wet beads on the towel to soak up extra dye mixture that runs off the bead. Let dry. If you choose, spray beads with polyurethane according to manufacturer’s directions. Let dry again.

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4 :: My favorite part—package and gift.

A couple notes: (1) Wood beads soak up color fast! The first set of beads I dyed got too dark too fast. I tried running water over the beads to dilute the color—didn’t work. I found the teal dye to work especially quickly. (2) After I had so much fun dying the beads, I decided to dye more. I saved my dye overnight by putting a lid on the containers (and moving them where no little helping hands could reach). The dye seemed to work just as well the second day. (3) Just to state the obvious: these beads are NOT for teething, and children should be supervised when playing with string and small objects.

Post by Aimee and Bettijo : www.supermomments.com

Gluten-Free Waffles

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Although I'm not allergic to gluten, I can't get away with eating much of it without some discomfort for a day or two. I'm usually good for one bagel, or two slices of pizza and then have to wait a few days before my system can tolerate more. And since I put myself through the ringer this week while sampling whole wheat breads from a local, organic bakery for recipes I've been testing at work, husband declared today would be gluten-free day.

He whipped up a batch of his most requested waffle batter, but replaced the all-purpose flour with King Arthur Multi-Purpose Gluten-Free flour. I'm not sure what magic took place in that waffle iron this morning, but these waffles were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside — not at all what I had expected.

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There is often a gritty texture associated with gluten-free flours that, for whatever reason, didn't happen with this waffle recipe. I'm not sure if King Arthur changed their grind to something finer or if the waffle iron had something to do with it (or both).

Regardless, we had the most perfect, vanilla-kissed waffles this morning, and didn't miss the gluten one bit.

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Gluten-Free Waffles with Vanilla-Cardamom Maple Syrup

Yields: approximately 6 large waffles
Allergy info: soy-free, gluten-free; contains eggs, dairy

Ingredients:
2 cups King Arthur Multi-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups warm whole milk
1/3 cup salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces grade B maple syrup
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions:
Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions. In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk, butter and vanilla. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture, stir until well combined.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan heat maple syrup, vanilla bean seeds and cardamom over low heat; steep 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside, keep warm.

Working in batches pour approximately 3/4 cup of the batter onto the waffle iron.                       Cook according to manufacturer's directions or until golden brown and lightly crisp on the outside. Serve warm with vanilla maple syrup.

Notes:
Most at-home waffle makers can cook only one waffle at a time. Keep cooked waffles warm by placing them on a baking sheet in a 165 F degree oven.

Save your vanilla bean pod — place it in your sugar bowl to create vanilla sugar.

Post by Dawn Viola : www.wickedgooddinner.blogspot.com