Mar 23, 2015

DIY felt coasters - spring flowers

Happy Spring!
I wanted to be ready for the upcoming picnic season with a 
few hostess gifts. This is a super simple project.

DIY felt coaster supplies

I found a roll of thin cork at Goodwill for 97¢ and was inspired!
I ran it through my Cuttlebug along with some felt and created these fun flowers. I tried two different methods; cutting out the centers to fit into the flowers and just cutting out separate centers to adhere atop the solid flowers. Personally, I preferred the look of the latter.  All was adhered with spray adhesive.


easy DIY felt coaster

I'm hoping they'll bring a little smile to those who receive them.
Have a blessed day!

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Mar 5, 2015

Safety Education series - Poisoning

March 5, 2015
Safety education: Poisoning

National Poison Prevention week is March 15-21, 2015. 
Today we're going to learn some important poison prevention tips along with some life applications.

Homeschool Safety Education series: Poison Prevention tips

HRSA has a wonderful site called Poison Help. 

*Visit Poison Help's, "What Can You Do?" section and read through the various pages on the left side bar. 
*Read over the articles together or have older students navigate through at their own pace, taking notes along the way. 
*On the Emergency Checklist page:

1. Within the first sentence of the article, we are given the 1-800- number to call. Have your students put this number in their mobile phones under "Poison Help" right now. Parents/teachers too! 

2. As we read over the article, I found the need to emphasize to the children the time stated to rinse the skin or eyes was longer than they thought.  15-20 minutes is a long time!!  
If you have time, let them "rinse" each other's hand 
under the water without looking at a clock and stop 
when they think 15 minutes have passed.
~ They thought 7 minutes was an eternity!
(quite an eye-opener!)

3. At the end of the article it asks us to be ready to talk to the expert on the phone. Use the questions to review important family information. 
Do your children know how old you/parents are?
Do they know if anyone in the family has special medical conditions?

Sometimes we assume the children pick up this information automatically, just by being a family member. An emergency is not the time to find out they didn't know! 

Could your child give adequate directions to your home?

If not, have them Google your address, print out the directions, and keep them near the phone.

*After reading through the section, "Poison Proof your Home" have students create their own checklist to refer to as they walk through their home or a family member's home.

*Finally, with all the information learned, have the students prepare a display or presentation to be given to fellow homeschoolers, family or friends for the upcoming National Poison Prevention week, March 15-21. Also, check with your local library or fire company to see if you can present your findings to a public group.

Poison Help, Safety Education series, Homeschool, Preparedness

Thank you for joining us this week.

Additional note: Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 2:00 am. The clock is set to go forward 1 hour at that time. It's also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors

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disclaimer: I am not a doctor or safety expert. This article is only intended 
to serve as an encouragement to discuss safety basics and give safety class 
ideas to homeschoolers. 

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Feb 21, 2015

Baking with Brookside Chocolates (Goji with Raspberry) - easy brownies - printable recipe

Baking with Brookside Chocolates Goji with Raspberry, brownies

Are you a Brookside chocolate lover?
They are SO good!
But to avoid eating them all myself, I decided to have a little play in the kitchen then share the love.

Using my favorite home-made brownie recipe, I scooped the batter into a paper lined mini muffin pan and placed a little Brookside gem atop each one.

baking brownies with Brookside Chocolates and Hershey's Cocoa

I got a thumbs up from everyone and will definitely be making these again!

Baking with Brookside Chocolates - Easy Fudge Brownies

Here's my go to brownie easy!!

Easy Fudge Brownies

½  cup butter, plus 2 Tablespoons (set aside)
6  Tablespoons cocoa powder
1  cup white sugar
2  eggs
1  teaspoon vanilla
¾  cup all-purpose flour
½  cup chopped nuts (optional; walnuts, pecans,etc)
confectioner's sugar for garnish or your favorite frosting

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease an 8x8 inch square baking pan.

In a saucepan, melt the ½ cup butter over medium low heat.  
Once melted, stir in the cocoa and additional 2 Tablespoons of butter.


Immediately add the sugar; mix well. 
Stir in the eggs, one at a time. 
Add the vanilla, flour and nuts (if using)

Spread brownie batter evenly in greased pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack. 
Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar or frost.

I used the above recipe to create my 
Brookside Chocolate, Goji with Raspberry 
cupcake brownies. 
- Maria @ 

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Have you experimented in the
kitchen lately?
Any new recipes to share??

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Feb 19, 2015

Safety Education series - Electrical Safety

Feb. 19, 2015
Safety education: electrical safety

Learn how to stay safe around electricity!
Today were going to visit PPL Electric Utilities e-SMART kids site.

Their Kids site offers activity pages, games, info & checklists concerning safety, conservation and science.

While their GET SMART - electrical safety, allows you to print out a certificate to track your progress through safety related topics.

There is plenty to explore throughout the site either self-guided or as a family project for discussion, depending on the age of your students.

Mom notes:
Here are some additional ideas I've used over the years.
1. After reviewing the information, have the children put together a electrical safety display to present to family & friends.

2. Create a Electrical Safety Activity book to share with a younger child.

3. Write a safety essay for your local newspaper. (great practice, whether or not it is actually accepted for publication!)

electrical safety


Thanks so much for joining us!
Our next class will be March 5th.

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disclaimer: I am not a doctor or safety expert. 
This article is only intended to serve as an encouragement 
to discuss safety basics and give safety class ideas to homeschoolers. 

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Feb 9, 2015

Heart cut-out Cupcakes with Raspberry filling - Easy Valentine's Day treat

Easy Valentines Day treat

Need a quick & easy Valentine's Day treat?
Here's a fun one, even the kids can make.

1. You'll need some some un-frosted from the store or bake your own.
2. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top of the cupcake.
3. Place the top on a hard, flat surface; cut a heart shape in the top using a cookie cutter
4. Place a dollop of  fruit jam, preserves or pie filling in the center of the "topped" cupcake.
5. Gently place the top back onto the cupcake, pressing down gently to allow some of the 
    filling to ooze up into the heart cut out.
6. Sprinkle assembled cupcakes with confectioner's sugar.

I needed to add a little extra filling to some of the cupcakes to fill the hearts nicely.
Oh, and the little cut-out hearts make a fun treat too, or use them to decorate a larger cake.

What are some of your
favorite Valentine's Day treats
to make?

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