Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easter Eggshell Hat

When my cousins and I were younger we usually celebrated Easter with a family reunion at my Aunt's house.
Easter usually coincides with our Lolo's birthday and, therefore, celebrated both events at the same time.

Honestly, we were not really big on egg hunting.
Although there was this one time when we actaully had one.
I remember I found an undecorated egg inside a flower pot cleverly hidden among halved egg shells used for the orchids!

Anyway, now that I have child I would really like to host and organize yearly Easter egg hunting events. 
A "minor" complication about my little plan, however, is that we are always away during this time. And although I still have to figure out a way to work around this situation I got a little ahead of myself by decorating several Easter eggs and making these Easter egg shell hats.

Here's what I did:

Step 1: Use a balloon as a mold and follow the basic steps on how to paper mache (here instead of glue I used the same homemade paste recipe I used for my DIY wall decals)
Step 2: Pop the balloon and remove the bits of latex

Step 3: Cut the opening large enough to fit the size of a head
Step 4: Make irregular zigzag cuts to make your hat resemble a "broken egg shell"

This is the best photo that I have of the little guy wearing his hat -- he couldn't keep still!

I intentionally gave my niece a plain white one for her to color and design on her own

You may keep your egg shell hats plain white
or color to resemble Easter eggs.

Have fun!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Tortilla

Since the start of the lenten season, we have been making these for dinner almost every Friday.
What I love about it is that we could just throw in whatever vegetable we have left in the fridge.
We usually do our groceries during the weekend and
it is every Friday night when we get to clear the fridge of anything uncooked, half eaten, spoiled, expired
and (god forbid) unidentifiable.
We've tried this with grilled zuchini, eggplant, squash, asparagus, mushroom, bell pepper,
we even experimented with mangoes and  pineapple!
But this would work just as well even with only
garlic, onions and tomatoes.

Lightly coat the vegetables in olive oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling. Then drizzle the vegetables with either pesto, honey mustard dressing or any vinegrette that you prefer. Then finally top with cheese.

I have to admit that hubby prefers to add something anything  just so it won't be purely vegetarian (he's such a carnivore!) like fried fish fillet, shrimps, canned tuna or even hard boiled eggs.

I even caught him cheating by adding left over adobo! HAH!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recycling an Old Broom

When my younger sister and I were little
our Auntie Peachy would bring home for us small brooms that she brought from Baguio where she studied college.
I know Alonzo would love to have one.
Whenever we are at playhouse the first thing he'd do after getting settled is to grab any of the small brooms they have there and sweep away.
I just couldn't find any -- even in bagiuo!
Hubby said that he used to notice several stores at the back street near his parents' house in the province. 
We search the stores but they don't sell small brooms anymore. A couple of months ago, Mima sent for Alonzo 2 balikbayan boxes full of toys. I wasn't surprised that Alonzo was the most interested in the talking/ singing broom and dust pan!

Anyway, a light bulb moment hit me last Sunday when we had to replace an old broom.

Guess what?
You could revive an old broom by trimming the straw and cutting the handle!
Alonzo now has 2 brooms -- a good old walis tambo and a loud one that requires batteries :)

Also, if you cut the straw and handle a little more you may even  use it to sweep the inside of the car!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Turning an Old Notebook into a Notepad

Now that school is out you probably have several pieces of notebooks with several good pages left. Don't throw them away!

By taking off the good pages and sewing them back together with the cover 
you'll be able to make a "new" notebook good enough
to be used for the next school year! 

You may also turn your old notebooks into usefull and handy notepads. All you'll have to do is cut off the good pages, secure them well together with clips and apply glue on one side.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recycling Old Crayons

While we have been busy with our "spring cleaning" at home, my in-laws have also been busy with theirs.
My sister-in-law stoped over the house the other day and dropped off some hand-me-downs for Alonzo.
Among the loot was a huge bag full of balls!
Needless to say, the little guy was happy.
I was more excited, though, about this box of old crayons!

I've been meaning to melt and recycle some of Alonzo's old and broken crayons.The ones they use at playhouse are not the usual cylindricaly shaped crayons. Theirs are kind of square-ish, a little smaller than the size of a matchbox. I see that the shape makes it easier for little hands to grasp and also least prone to break.  

With just a few simple (but messy) steps you can recycle and re-use your child's broken
(and often rejected), old  crayons!

Step 1: Peel off the wrapper and sort crayons according to color

Step 2: Melt crayons in a "water bath".
By placing a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water.
Stir constantly.
You may melt all colors at the same time if you have smaller sized containers such as
empty soda cans cut in half.
You may also just use muffin pans and pop it in the oven
-- this lessens clean up time in half
(I would have done this instead but our pans to be too large for this).

Don't forget to cover and protect your counter with newspaper. However, I suggest that you use wax paper
(I used the wax paper backing of the liner paper
used for our DIY wall decal).
This makes it easier to peel off any melted crayon that has spilled and throw back into the water bath (this means less wastage!) 

Here's another tip, work with your colors systematically. I started with "yellow" and followed with "orange", then "red". This allowed me to just use only 1 bowl for several colors without washing.

Step 3: Once melted (it takes only a few minutes) pour over your mold and let your crayons cool and solidify
(I kept it in the refrigerator overnight)
The crayons will pop right off when they are ready.

Now, wasn't that easy!