Great 10 year old birthday gift!

I was worried this year! We are all teched up and out so what am I going to give my 10-turning-11 year old?


She actually asked for what she wanted this year!

Heelys. I bought a pair for my now 13 year old when she was 9. Loved them, and I loved the idea!

Aren't they gorgeous? And you can take the wheel out and make them into regular skate shoes!

Best part is they make them in adult sizes too! And for preschoolers...

Of course, I have to get all the safety gear as well. But all in all, not expensive for a birthday gift and she will be getting outdoors and off the devices! ;-)

ToonGoggles App Videos for kids

The kids' app available that is getting the most play around here right now is ToonGoggles. It's similar to Netflix but with only kids shows!
We dove in, my 11 month old, my 10 year old and I and tried an episode of Gloria's House. What can I say, the description spoke to me!

The free access is limited to three episodes of each show but once you're hooked on one show, monthly access is very reasonable!
Download the iOS (iPod, iPhone, iPad) version here.

Download the Android version here.

Or if you want to see a demo before you download it click here. But since the basic version is free, just give it a try! My kids like it, I bet yours will too.
Mostly Mommy

Updated games page with a free online Word Matching game

I found a new game site!

It's called Cookie and it's just so appealing right now. Maybe it's that it's Mommy's favorite color - who knows.

There are so many printables, I find myself hoping Baby hasn't *actually* messed it up with his new found ability to access the wall of technology. I also checked out a game or two and found this cute Word Matching game.

Of course, as always, you should head over to MostlyMommies' games page and check out all the cool free games for toddlers, preschoolers and kids.

Shrinky Dink style DIY Shrinking plastic fun! Free!

I don't know what the rules are but I suppose it's only fair to say Shrinky Dinks exist as an item you can buy.
Now that I've said that, it's possible to make them for free - better than free, you use stuff from your recycling bin! I know I used and recommend using #6 plastic. I've seen other sites stating you can use other numbers but you probably have enough #6 (which works spectacularly!) to achieve what you want.
This is not a toddler craft! It's best for 8 years and up, I'd say. But with proper parental supervision, it's your call. If the child is not using the oven, the permanent markers are your biggest concern. And if your child mouths things still, this is for later in crafts-years.
I used the tops from two store-bought sushi lunches.

These have the little #6 ... I'm going to try with a white plastic #6 single yogurt container and let you know later.
Draw what you'd like on there with a Sharpie. Great idea is to trace an outline from a picture. You can colour in the outline with other permanent colour markers.

If you want a pendant, punch the hole in there before you out it in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
I did everything on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper on it - just in case.
Here is another amazing fact: it's free AND fast!
The largest ones we made took 1:45 (one minute and forty-five seconds). The smallest were 1:00 (one minute).
So, once your oven is the right temperature, open it up and slide in the baking sheet with your plastic shrinking pieces on it. Watch with the oven door closed - or if you have to (like me) take pictures, open it up a crack.
You'll be able to see that they're done but first you'll probably have that moment of "oh my god, what's happening in there?" as they curl up. Don't freak out! They curl up and then they lay flat - smaller and thicker! Then take them out.
*I actually remembered to get a measuring tape out for some of the pictures so you can get a good idea of the shrinkage factor.
Look at the pictures below for proof and for fun! Then go make yourself something unique and cool! Post your comments or pictures, I'd love to hear what you did with the idea.

Curled up and flattened out! It's like exercise for plastic!

by Mostly Mommy

Rainbow cake! A special birthday cake for a wonderful daughter.

Check out this birthday cake I made!
I did originally see this idea on Pinterest but much to my surprise when I went to make it ... It was only pictures, no recipe. And I saw cola in the picture - does anyone know if you can use cola in a cake recipe? I don't. Hahaha ... Here is the original Pinterest post so that the original idea creator gets credit.

Since I had no recipe to work with, I just followed Betty's instructions. You know... Betty Crocker? Lol! Are those not the cutest measuring cups?
I used a white cake mix and after making the batter according to the instructions, I separated it into 6 bowls. I know the rainbow is 7 but I couldn't futz around with the difference between indigo and violet - purple people, it's a colour! :)

Once it was separated, I coloured each bowl of batter with food colouring. Mmmmmm. Funny, last night my daughter told me the way to remember the order of the rainbow - "Roy G Biv" red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet". Phew. Keep in mind I melded the indigo and violet... So the four basic food colourings were fine and I mixed yellow and red to make orange and red and blue to make purple.

Don't those bowls of batter look amazing?
After the colours are ready, take a spoon and put an equal amount into each cake pan. I didn't have the two round cake pans so I used three heart shaped ones. It was two large spoon scoops per pan in my case. So, two scoops of red into each pan... Then on top of that, two scoops of orange, then on top of that two yellow spoonfuls... It starts to spread out.

After I had emptied each bowl into the pans in their order, I tapped the pans to flatten the batter.

Since I used three pans I kept them in a little less time, monitoring it as I went - somewhere between the 18 minutes for cupcakes and the 25 minutes for two cake pans. And voila! Cool for ten minutes and then pop them out to cool completely before icing.

I have this awesome cake leveller that I saw at the dollar store. My husband loves kitchen gadgets and has always made cakes so I bought it. Today I will use it! Hahaha. The original recipe called for white icing but my daughter is a chocolate fan so... Chocolate icing it is! I will post the picture with icing after but I just couldn't wait to share this with you!

Alright it is now the morning after the birthday celebration and I can post some "finished product" pictures so you can see exactly how fabulous this turned out!
I think next time I will try two or three colours and do stripes because the rainbow effect was a little lost in the three layers. But I will definitely be doing this for future cakes of all sorts - school bake sales lookout!!

Yes, it's a cheese knife but this way I don't need to remind everyone to smile for the camera! ;)

Love the colours!