Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meg vs. Halloween: Gingerbread Mummies!

My friend Kelly and I got together on Monday to make some gingerbread mummies to share with our neighbors. I saw a few variations of this idea on Pinterest, and we couldn't resist trying it out. We each had a fussy baby in tow, so I didn't get many pictures, and in 4 1/2 hours we still hadn't finished. But by the next morning I had them all wrapped up and ready to go.

Here's big brother getting in on the rolling and cutting. I actually liked the cookies he did; they had missing and stretched body parts, which really was perfect for the theme.

I let the boys go to town on their cookies with some canned frosting and sprinkles, which kept them occupied for a while.

Meanwhile, we churned out the rest of our mummies, with white royal icing embalming and red sprinkle eyes.

 I think these have to be the easiest decorating job I've done with royal icing! Here is one of big brother's cut-outs. I love how it came out!

We used two different recipes for the two batches, since we have some friends that can't have dairy and wanted some of the cookies to be butter-free. The first is my favorite recipe from Sue over at Munchkin Munchies. These are the ones I have made the last few years at Christmas, and I could eat a whole batch myself.

The second is this recipe for Nauvoo Gingerbread from It calls for lard (this recipe is old school!) but I used shortening and they came out really lovely and soft. They are very mild, so good if you have littles like mine that might be averse to a stronger gingerbread. Otherwise you might want to up the spice content to suit your tastes.

And you can also find the royal icing recipe over at Munchkin Munchies. It is perfect! (The sugar cookie recipe is my favorite too; Sue is the best).

Here they are all packaged up and ready to go. I was going to add some cutesy ribbon, but this was as far as I got.

And with the leftover icing and some chocolate chips I whipped up some googly eyes for future use.

It took me two full days to recover from the cookie mess, but it gave me a good excuse to go out and meet my neighbors after a whole year of living here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meg vs. Halloween: Easy Felt Bat Garland

Halloween is the first major holiday since my birthday, so I had to start out right if I am going to meet my goal of decorating for all of them. But I wanted to do it (1) without spending much if any money, and (2) without accruing bulky items that we will have to store or move later. So when I saw this bat garland on Pinterest, I knew it would be perfect!

I ordered a whole pile of felt for a felt board project I am hoping to get started on (on sale for $3 a yard at!), and I had black thread already, so all I needed was to print out this template from Country Living and grab my scissors and sewing machine! Without all of the inevitable interruptions from my three little guys, I would guess that this is about a one-hour project, depending on how crazy you go cutting out bats. I cut out twenty bats, then ran them through the sewing machine one after the other to connect them all together.

We hung it out on the porch, and with our pumpkins I think it looks every-so-slightly festive. It also reminded me how much we still need to do on the house (cracks, peeling paint, fake bricks falling off...). But hey, I kept with my goal! And just maybe I'll make something more with the kiddos in the next week. We like to be last-minute around here.

I like that this garland is reusable but takes up almost no storage space, so we will have a start on our decorating next year! But these beauties won't last that long...

 Just the right sizes for my three munchkins. Stay tuned for a couple more Halloween posts before the big day! Then perhaps I'll get a more timely start on Christmas!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meg vs. The Toddlers: "Spooky Bath"

Now that I have three boys three and under, the evening can get a bit overwhelming, particularly if my husband is busy and I am home alone. Saturday night he was off studying for a Monday morning exam, all the kids needed baths, and of course it was the witching hour for the baby. So in the spirit of the Halloween season, I told Big Brother and Little Brother they could have a spooky bath, which really meant that I threw some glow bracelets in the tub and turned off the lights. They loved it! They stayed in the bath tub for over an hour, which was lovely because I cleaned the bathroom and gave Baby Brother his bath while they were in one contained place. Beautiful.

I couldn't capture any good pictures in the dark, but these were impressive enough for my toddlers, who love seeing pictures of themselves and the things they do:


Saturday, October 13, 2012

John vs. The Bathroom: The tile goes on...

Over John's fall break he got right back to work on the tile, and it is almost all up! Here's the bath surround:

The toilet area:

On Tuesday our awesome friend came over again to help John wire up a new light/heater/fan to replace the ancient one that had been there previously.

They also moved the boxes down so that it would be easier to tile around them.

So there's just this one little spot left, then grout, then the tiling is done! I am so pleased with how it looks, and I think John is pleased with how much he has learned and how well his first big project is turning out. Color me impressed.