March 29, 2010

This is it for the Egg Theme. We'll be moving on to something new for April next week! Hurray!

My son is now finding G in a lot of things! Last week all he wanted was to see the gum ball machine (in the letter G on Starfall). He loved standing the egg on end although we did crack one in the process. He's still learning how to handle eggs. He wasn't that interested in the Scrambled Eggs Super Video, I'm not really sure why. Oh well. I'll have a separate post about St. Patrick's Day later.

Up this week:

1. Dyeing Eggs. We're going to use a special technique from Martha Stewart using vinyl letters and shapes. Check it out here and here, possibly using some of these silhouettes here and here.
2. Counting using candy eggs or jelly beans. We'll count to 10 and fill a container, or muffin tin. Then to 20 and so on. This way he can visualize the difference in the amounts.
3. Review books from earlier weeks.
4. Game: Don't eat the Peep. I'm going to change this slightly so it's the Chick Peeps and we have to not eat the eggs. Thanks Sharla for this fabulous idea.
5. Easter Egg Hunt! Woohoo!

Alright everyone - have a fabulous week with the kiddos!

March 24, 2010

For those of you who were following or reading my blog CyberReno's WELCOME! For all new readers - WELCOME too! This new blog has been in the works for over a month now. With all the other things I've been working on though, it's taken plenty of time to get up and running. But I've been dying for you all to see what I made ALL BY MYSELF!

CyberReno's (my former blog home) began as a family blog, one that was short-lived. We quickly decided to make another private family blog. So that blog turned into a way to share all my crafting, sewing and other projects with the world. BUT I just didn't feel at home there. The name wasn't quite right and the design was just not cute enough. Thus, a change was needed. So here we are, over 2 years since I began that blog, starting afresh!

Maggie Muggins Designs came about easily. I wanted something cute, something me, and something that said what this blog is all about. Growing up I was Maggie Muggins at my house. It was a little red-headed girl in a book, radio show, and TV show from my Mom's childhood. (In case you didn't know, I'm a red-head!) Only later in life did I realize it also happened to be the name of choice for several people's canines. Oh well. I love the books too much to stop now. The Designs part really says the rest. Crafting, sewing, decorating my home, and all the rest are all design to me.

What's New?

Aside from the new name and face let me point out a few things to you. Across the top there's now a links bar so you can see posts according to their labels. I'm still working out kinks there - so things may change in the next little bit.

I've got a new button on the right for those of you that want to share this blog on yours. You can copy the html code on the right and paste it onto your blog.

I've also added a Google search bar for you to be able to find practically whatever you want to on the blog.

Lastly, I've set up a RSS feed in feed burner. If you want to read or follow my blog you can sign up on the right.

The design of this blog took a lot of hard work. I redid the header probably 10 times. I changed the size at least 3. Getting the perfect look takes time, energy, Photoshop, and the ability to search the wonderful world-wide-web. But knowing that I saved myself plenty of money by designing this myself is worth all of that and then some!

So I present to you Maggie Muggins Designs my new blog. Designed by me! I love it, and I hope you do to!

Creations by Kara
I shared this on another blog, but I have to share this with everyone here. My Sister-in-Law introduced my family to recipe and it's been a go-to dish ever since. I prefer this to any dip you'll have in a restaurant hands down. Why? Because it's not just your average, creamy dip. It's cheesy, creamy, and packed full of spice and flavor!

It seems that in our 4.5 years of marriage, one of the few traditions we've actually created is to have this dip every General Conference! (Or as close to it as possible!)


1 (8 oz.) package Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely chopped Roasted Red Peppers
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup grated Pepper Jack Cheese (I use Tillamook as it's so moist)
1 box frozen chopped Spinach (thawed and strained)
1 large can Artichoke Hearts (drained and finely chopped)
1/3 cup finely chopped Onion
2-3 finely chopped pickled JalapeƱos (Optional, Add more or less to taste.)
1. Blend together Cream Cheese, Mayonnaise, and other Cheeses until smooth.
2. Stir in all the other ingredients. Place in casserole dish.
3. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350°F (or until lightly browned).
4. Serve with Tortilla chips, toasted breads, pita chips, or vegetables.

March 19, 2010

So we had a designer from Home Depot come out last night to look at our kitchen and help us figure out how much it would cost to re-face it. For our, not too big of a kitchen I almost died when she told us the price $11,000! That was for cabinet refacing and a new laminate counter top only.

So here's to the wonderful ability my husband and I have of being able to do things ourselves. I have found a place online where we can order materials to do the same thing as them. Looks like materials for the cabinet refacing will be about $1,000. As for the counter top? Well, we'd have plenty of room for splurging with the $10,000 savings! I swear I just heard my husband screaming. "Please, Heaven help me. Not another renovation. Aaahhhhh!"

March 16, 2010

I'm working on some changes here so I'm sorry to all who were anticipating another post today. I got a new calling as Beehive's Advisor and I've got an exciting side project going that I'll be so excited to share soon. I just won't be sharing any crafty goodness this week. Hopefully I will be back next week in full force.

March 15, 2010

I'm so excited about this week! We have been having a blast learning about eggs, chicks, penguins and letters. My son is still pointing out every e big or little that he sees. He can also recognize g about 50% of the time. It's a letter that has a lot of variations in print so it's a little more difficult for him.

By the way - "Emperor Lays An Egg" and "Where Do Chicks Come From?" were both a little too advanced for him. But he liked the pictures anyways and I just abbreviated.

This afternoon he asked for eggs for lunch. Not unusual seeing as he did that often before this unit. I pulled them out, and got ready to cook them. My back was turned for 2 seconds and I heard a little voice proclaim "I crack the egg!" only to turn around to see a very surprised face, little hands holding the remains of a crushed egg, and a mess for mommy to clean on the floor! Oh, the joys of discovery. Did I surprise him with my calm reaction to his mess? Probably. Did I surprise myself by not busting up laughing at his priceless expression?! For sure!

So what is in store for this week?

1. Review of Letter G, Letter E and E Song on
2. Read "Horton Hatches the Egg" by Dr. Seuss
3. March 17 - St. Patrick's Day Green Eggs and Ham (note, we are going to have a surprise Leprechaun attack, even dying milk and things green, and then we're going to try to trap him)
4. Scrambled Eggs Super Video (I got it at the Library, but it's also on You Tube)
5. Balance an Egg on End for Vernal Equinox. I don't care if it's true or not, it is fun!

I'm so excited for St. Patrick's Day and for Balancing the Egg. You know my back will not be turned this time.

March 14, 2010

I was just about to post about one of our talented family friends this week for Preschool related activities when I read about his latest endeavour. This guys talent puts me to shame. Seriously. Brad of has mad skills when it comes to graphic design. My son absolutely loves his animated video-game J4NE the Pink Robot. That is actually what I was GOING to post about. It is a sweet little video game for kids to learn the alphabet with. My sons favorite letters are "V" and "K".

Don't even get me started on his paintings though. A while back I saw this painting and have been wanting it ever since.

Do you recognize it? That's Little Sal from "Blueberries for Sal"! It was one of my favorite childhood books. Brad, I want one! Can I pay you to make me one?

*Update: Brad does do work on commission. You can contact him on his site, or just check to see what's in his Etsy Shop.

OK so here is the real reason for this post. He's entered another contest. You might remember me asking you to vote for him once before for his "Mista Barista" entry held by a Seattle TV Station last year. Did I ever tell you he won first place?! Well, he's at it again. This time he's entered a product design contest by Uncommon Goods. His product is Brainy Blocks. They are simple blocks for building and stacking, but they teach basic math and engineering skills! The best part? They are natural wood blocks! No lead scare!

You can see his video about the product here. It's a fantastic video!

Now, I want you to head on over and vote for his blocks. HURRY - the contest ends tomorrow (Monday) at NOON! Seriously, I looked at the other entries and his deserves to win! Please help him out!

To vote for him you have to "become a fan" of Uncommon Goods on Facebook here then click "like" on the Brainy Blocks Photo Album here.

Then once you've done that head on over to his cousins blog. She's hosting a give-away for him - a chance to win that "Little Sal" painting above! By voting for him you've already got yourself an entry!

March 12, 2010

As we all know, being a Mom is not the easiest task. Seriously, when my first son came along I was so unprepared for motherhood. The second time around has been much easier on me, but it still is a ton of work. It's only easier because I've got more experience. My friend April Perry started The Power of Moms a couple of years ago with her friend Saren Loosli and they just recently launched a new version! Their free site for Moms is a powerful resource for every and any kind of mother. I feel bad that it's taken me this long to share her site with the rest of you!

The Power of Moms has essays to empower you, monthly challenges and values, motherhood secrets (tips on coping from those with experience) and fabulous ideas for strengthening your family and lists of brilliant books. You'd think that was enough, but there is more to this site. I think my favorite part is their Power of Mom's Retreat for small groups of Moms. (Note: the retreats are not free.) You have the option of participating in a retreat or organizing one! I have wanted to participate in one of these retreats for a long time. April, any chance you'd come to Seattle?

Please go join this wonderful community of Moms, learn, share, participate, and enjoy. Also, please share this resource with other Moms out there. We could all be a little bit better.

March 9, 2010

I have a little kid piano from Craigslist. This weekend, while out painting something else, it seemed like as good of a time as any to get this project complete as well. It's only been on my list for a year. OK, I lied. It's been closer to two years.

The $30 Jaymar Piano courtesy of Craigslist.

I taped off the keys and had at it. Here it is with a new coat of paint courtesy of Krylon.

I plan to put some cute black vinyl saying or image on the front. I was going to do white, but realized that would make the keys look even more old and yellow than they already do. I love it so much now, as does my son. He's thrilled to have it back in the house. The other kid piano we have was put out of his reach. He kept climbing up on top of it. By the way, it cost me $5 on Craigslist! Patience pays off! The red one will go up there beside it later on, when the kids no longer play it.

Creations by Kara

March 8, 2010

Wow - I survived my first week of home preschool! I'd like to say the first week went smoothly, but we never did get to the Humpty Dumpty video. I'll be doing that today with another activity.

As for the other activities, let me fill you in! My son loved the coloring page and can now find both big and little "E" on everything. This morning I was using E6000 to glue a waterfall image back onto a piece of his train track. He stood beside me shouting "Big E, Momma! Big E!" the whole time. I'm so proud of him.

Thursday we had one of his friends over to float the egg together. I got out 2 glasses and filled them 2/3 full with water. We asked them if the eggs would sink or float and they said sink. So we {gently} popped in the eggs and sure enough, they sank. Then we told them by adding salt we could make them float. This is where it got really fun. We started adding salt, but after adding quite a bit, I thought maybe it needed a stir. We got little sticks and the kids stirred. The eggs still didn't float. I had no idea that you needed SO MUCH SALT to get those eggs to float. By the way, you don't have to worry about water spilling over, salt makes the water more dense, so the water line does not rise at all. When the eggs finally started going up the kids got so excited. Then we let them poke at the eggs for a few minutes, popping them back down to watch them float back up! It was so cute.

By the way, I plan one short activity for each day, but you don't have to do it that way. You can combine some and only do 2 or 3 days each week. It just depends on your preference. So here are the activities planned for this week.

1. Interactive Letter G, Letter E and E Song from
2. Read "Emperor Lays An Egg" by Brenda Z. Guiberson
3. Read "Where Do Chicks Come From?" by Amy E. Sklansky
4. Green Eggs and Ham Video, Letter G Coloring Sheet

Have fun this week! My son has enjoyed our activities so far. This morning we did the first activity already and he kept asking for it again and again. He's got big G and little g down!

March 2, 2010

My toddler got a set of tools for Christmas that came with a very awkward back pack. You know the set? Anyhow, I wanted him to have a tool box to carry the tools in. Something like Handy Manny's but not one that would scratch the floors, or be easily smashed into my shins. No thanks. So I came up with a fabric box. Next time I make it I'll post a better tutorial, but for those of you that don't need too much direction I'll post the dimensions.

Fabric Pieces:
6 of 6"x10" for Sides and Bottom
4 of 9"x6" for Ends

Fusible Fleece (or Quilt Batting) Pieces:
3 of 6"x10"
2 of 9"x6"

Directions (1/2 inch seams, Serged or Zig-Zag Edge)

1. Fuse the fleece to all outer pieces.
2. Trim the top of all end pieces to an angle (I did a 60 degree angle)
3. Sew all outer pieces together - I did the bottom and sides first, then the ends. Turn it out and make sure all the seams look good on the outside.
4. Sew all inner pieces together.
5. Put inner and outer boxes together right side together. Sew around the top leaving a 2-3 inch space on one side to pull the bag through.
6. Pull the bag through and make sure get the edge seams flat, tuck in the raw edges of the hole, then top stitch around the entire top.
7. Cut a hole in the ends where you want to put the grommet, install grommets as directed on package. (Extra-Large ones from Jo-Anns.)

8. Cut a piece of 3/8" dowel 9.5 inches long. Sand it a little.
9. Cut a piece of 3/8" plastic tubing (PVC) 8 3/4" long. Push it over the dowel as shown below. *My Dad was brilliant and came up with this idea (it keeps the ends from going in to the center.)
10. Drill holes in the ends of the dowels for your screws.

11. I used wooden discs for the ends and drilled holes in them too, but seeing as one broke already I'm going out to buy washers to replace them. Put the dowel through the grommet and screw the washer onto the end as shown below.
*Note: I painted this using Krylon Plastic Paint. Big Mistake. It didn't dry properly so the handle is sticky. Permanently.

There you have it everyone! The finished product! My son loves it!

Let me know if you have any questions or something needs clarification.


March 1, 2010

I've decided that instead of sending my son to preschool this year we are going to do preschool at home. We want to save the money from preschool to put him into music lessons, swimming, karate, and other various activities. So in an effort to be organized and do this right I emailed my Mom. As a retired Kindergarten Teacher she is an excellent resource. She suggested working on one theme each month and finding the resources locally, online and around the home to teach them about that theme. Here are her theme suggestions for those of you wanting ideas for yourself.

All about me: September/ October
1. Safety
2. Body - Healthy Eating - fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.
3. Fall

My family and community: November/ December
1. All about my family and community/ Pets/ Farm Animals
2 Gratitude - Thanksgiving - I am thankful for fruits, veggies, family, etc.
3. Christmas + Service

My friends and community January/ February
1. Winter/ Snow/ Penguins
2. Friendship/Sharing
3. Valentines

The World around me March/ April/ May/ June
1. Life cycle - Eggs
2. Spring/ Easter/ St. Patrick's Day
3. Rain / Water cycle / Rainforest/ Jungle
4. Flowers - Another cycle
5. Bugs
6. The Sea and sea Creatures
7. Summer

In an effort to organize myself a little bit better I plan to post every week with my plans for the week. Each month I will choose a new theme. Keep in mind, my son is going to turn 3 soon so I will be keeping the activities at a basic level.

This month we are going to learn about Eggs. Spring is early here so I felt it was a good theme to learn right now. We'll color, read books, find information online, have green eggs and ham for St. Patricks, and oh so much more! It's perfect as a preparation for Easter too.

Here's what I've got ready for my son for this week:
1. The Letter "E" Coloring Page, Talk about E and it's sounds
2. Read "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss
4. Watch a Humpty Dumpty video and learn the rhyme.
5. Reading time - search for the letter E in the books we read

That's my plan for this week. I'm ordering some books from our library and I'm going to look around to see what else I can find. Feel free to post your ideas, links and activities. For those of you that want to join along on our Preschool adventure please feel free to comment or even contact me via email with your suggestions!