Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hey Kool-Aid, Come dye silk!

I can think of only one good use for Kool-Aid but it's to dye for – beautifully colorful silks and other natural fibers.  After some experimenting with various methods I read about online, here's my take on the best way to dye silk with Kool-Aid:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekly allowance enthusiasm

We've started our 5-year-old on a weekly allowance.  We explained the rules to her yesterday.  She'll have to do her chores and in exchange she'll get money - 1/3 to put towards college, 1/3 to give to a charity of her choice, and 1/3 to use as she likes.  I've copied the system from a friend who said having an allowance has made her kids able to equate "toy I want" = "x weeks of allowance".

My 5-year-olds chores are:
1) Make her bed
2) Put her dirty laundry in the hamper
3) Dress herself
4) Clear her dishes
5) Participate in our family's weekend house clean-up

They are the same chores she has had to do anyway, but she sure does have more enthusiasm now!
This morning she rushed into my bedroom.
"Mommy, I've done all my morning chores," she said.  "I'm dressed, my pajamas are in the hamper, and I've made my bed!"
"That's great sweetheart," I said, "but it is three in the morning.  Go back to sleep!"

By Cara Eisenberg
Please visit for information about Cara's children's books.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Using Microphones and Spray Starch

Last Sunday my daughters were in a talent show at the library.  What a fabulous way to get kids used to being in front of a crowd.  My children enjoyed watching the other acts too - even the girl who preformed 23 numbers on the recorder.  I learned a great tip for teaching kids how to hold a microphone so that it is in range but not "in mouth".

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Free planet-friendly building blocks

We all know that a refrigerator box makes a wonderful toy, but what about the small packages we throw daily into our recycling? 

I was at a friends house on a play date when she excitedly took out new cardboard "blocks".  "Forty dollars from Melissa and Doug", she told me.   They are terrific; the kids loved them – but I couldn't help noticing that they look and feel like the cardboard packaging for butter.  That gave me the idea to "make" my own.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

How to approach a wild hawk

Thursday morning a hawk appeared inside our screened-in porch.  What on earth?  It was annoying that stink bugs manage to somehow get inside, but this was ridiculous!  I called the kids to come see.
“That’s a hawk” my four-year-old informed me.
“Are you sure it isn’t a giant pigeon?”  I asked.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Healthy & Yummy Recipe Sharing

Healthy and yummy recipes that the whole family will enjoy are sometimes hard to find.  Some friends who enjoy this cooking challenge have started a blog to share these treasures and I have agreed to contribute.  Check out what's cooking at

Here's another that a dear friend in Toronto started.  She's always whipping up healthy treats the kids love.