Tuesday, July 24, 2012

water playdate fun!

 Recently, I've just gone back to working outside of the home. This is my first time back since I've had Simon (he's two now). I was so lucky to have so much time off with my kids. On one of my days off this week, I hosted a little playdate for Claire and Simon, with four of their friends. We have been having such lovely, hot weather lately (30 C = 86 F) that I decided to have a water playdate.

The kids had a lot of fun. The first activity was a tin foil river. I just put a long sheet of tin foil on the lawn. Then, I folded up the sides of it. I put a rock at the top and bottom of the river to keep the tin foil from blowing away. Then I put the hose at the top of the river, turned the water on, and the kids floated bottle caps down it. Again and again.

The next activity lasted the longest. For a while now I've been saving my dish soap bottles. (I asked my neighbours to save their bottles for me too.) I used a few Gatorade, and salad dressing bottles too.) The night before the playdate I filled all of the bottles with water. Then I added a few drops (2 or 3) of food colouring to each bottle. For the playdate, I brought all of the bottles outside, with a couple of mixing bowls and spoons, and the kids had a great time pouring, mixing, and stirring the water. They played with the coloured water for more than 30 minutes. Kids occupied for half an hour screams success to me!

 The last activity was a winner too. I picked up a couple of bags of toys from the Dollar Store, a bag each of zoo and farm animals. I filled two 9x13 pans with water and put them in the freezer. I spread the animals out in each pan once they were in the freezer. THAT'S IT! The next morning, the toys were nicely frozen in the ice. Just run the pans under water to loosen the ice. The kids sprayed water on the ice blocks to release the toys. It was pretty exciting for them.

 We finished off the playdate with peanut butter and jam sandwiches and chocolate vanilla pudding popsicles. Simon loved them! So does Claire actually, as she continues to eat all of the leftovers. It was so nice to plan this little playdate. It was the easiest one so far, since everything was ready to go the night before. Have you hosted any playdates this summer? I think an ice cream themed one is up next....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Simple Things Sunday

I just love this picture of Derek and Simon all snuggled up together. Simon had just finished eating some blueberry dessert, which you can clearly see all over his face. His knees are all scraped up because he runs so fast outside he doesn't always watch where he's going. It just captures the 'right now' moment for him.
And Claire is so hard to capture now. She runs the other way when she sees the camera, or she makes the most ridiculous faces! I was happy to capture this picture of her having fun on the swing. The kids are loving our summer weather.

Linking up with: Simple Things Sunday

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

whipped shortbread cookies

This is one of my favorite cookie recipes. Ever

If you have been looking for the perfect, melt in your mouth, shortbread recipe, this is it! These are so quick to make. I dump everything in my Kitchenaid and then walk away for 10 minutes while it does all of the hard work. You can put this dough in a cookie press, but I find it easiest to put the dough in a piping bag and use one of my large icing tips to pipe the cookies onto the cookie sheets. These cookies are delicious on their own, but I think that everything tastes better with icing. I use my favorite buttercream recipe to add a dollop of icing on each cookie.

Whipped Shortbread

1 cup of butter, softened
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup icing sugar

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip for at least 10 minutes. Pipe onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes.

Who wants to go bake cookies now?

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