Brewed hot chocolate

Gourmet Brewed Hot Chocolate

Have you heard of brewed hot chocolate? It’s a lot like coffee, but you use roasted and ground cocoa beans instead of roasted and ground coffee beans. It’s a delicious treat for chocolate lovers, with the added bonus that this drink has four times as many antioxidants than coffee. It’s healthiest if you drink it […]

Kid quotes! Overheard moments and conversations that make me smile.

Kid Quotes: Overheard Moments and Conversations

Exuberance after setting up an elaborate play scape: Emma (8 years old): Ready, set, play! Eight-year-old Emma talking to six-year-old Johnny Emma: I’m going to check the mail and then we need to work out a plan to save the universe. Johnny: Why do we need to save the universe? Emma: Because the sun is […]

learning how to use a sewing machine

Sewing, Pretend Play and Down Time After School

Mike was out of town this week, so I scheduled extra down time after school to help the kids cope with missing him. They spent a lot of time playing with our Magna-Tiles*, usually together with the family counters you see above. It has been a lot of fun seeing their creations develop and their […]

Let-kids-lead-the-way-with-creative-projects_thumb

Nurturing Creativity: Time, Space, and Respect

I have discovered three key ingredients for nurturing creativity – in children and adults. To be creative, we all need time, space, and respect. Last year I bought these wooden bird houses for my kids to turn into doll houses. My kids enjoyed the activity, but they kept their houses very simple. Lily actually refused […]

perfect hard-boiled eggs

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

This year I found my favorite hard boiled egg solution so far – and it’s simple! Put the eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to a rolling boil, remove from the burner, and let sit, covered for 15 minutes. Then (and this is important, if you want them to be easy to peel), […]

experimenting with gummy candy

Science for Littles: Experimenting with gummy candy

The grin on Johnny’s face may reflect some excitement over the experiment, but I think it has a lot more to do with the fact that he grabbed and gobbled my first comparison gummy worm immediately before I snapped this photo. This experiment is straight out of a science experiment book I picked up in […]

How-to-make-a-weighted-sensory-blanket_thumb

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Weighted Blanket (Sensory Friendly)

A couple weeks ago one of my sisters mentioned that she wanted a weighted blanket for her son, who has some sensory issues. Weighted blankets are pretty expensive, so I said I would look into making one. I slept on it for a couple nights, and came up with this very effective method. I was […]

Small-space-living-solutions_thumb

Creating a Family-Friendly Living Space

Silicon Valley has one of the world’s highest costs of living. So, when we moved here, we jumped at the chance to get into a (much more affordable than other options) condo owned by Mike’s employer. We didn’t even see it before agreeing to live there, but it had MORE square footage to our little ranch […]

growing salt crystals

Growing Salt Crystals

Do you recognize our salt crystals experiment from this post? It started off like this: We wound up with nicer crystals in the bowl where the water evaporated than on the sponge itself; I’m not sure why. We plan to grow sugar crystals next, as soon as I get organized. We’re growing mung bean sprouts […]

Great-books-for-parents-of-young-children_thumb

Books that Help Parents Connect With Their Kids

I like to read books about parenting and education in my free time. Here are a few recent favorites that contain wonderful advice and ideas of ways to help parents connect with their kids. From my point of view, connecting with my children is the richest gift of being a parent – the piece of […]