Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Cookies

Two nights ago Tay and I made some Halloween sugar cookies together. I love that he's big enough to actually help me make them. He loved cutting out shapes and helping me frost the cookies once they were baked. I love my little man so much!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Up and Running!

 My {jill of all trades} blog is officially up and running! I'll start posting to it later today, so be sure to check back often for projects and tips as well as information about the items I'm posting in my Etsy shop!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pizza Face

Yesterday I ran some errands with the boys, and one of our stops was Roberts craft store. Tay was begging me to buy something, so I told him he could pick any sticker pack he wanted; in true Taylor fashion he chose the strangest stickers they had: pepperoni pizza.

When we got home I put the baby down for a nap, and when I came downstairs this is what Tay looked like.

Apparently as soon as he saw the pizza stickers he came up with the crazy plan to stick them all over his face as soon as we got home. He's so weird and hilarious and adorable.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Project!

I'll be starting a new blog soon called {jill of all trades} and I'm super excited about it! I've always complained about never having a skill that I've mastered, but instead know a little bit about a lot of different things. Lately though I've decided that it's actually really fun (and useful!) to dabble in a bit of everything, and I'd like to start sharing these little tidbits of information I have with all of you!

The new blog will feature projects and tips on everything from organization to cooking, interior design to crafting. Once a week I'll also have posts from guest bloggers so you don't get sick of hearing from me all the time (p.s., if you're interested in guest blogging, let me know!).

I'll post a link to the new blog as soon as it's ready to go! And don't worry, I'll still keep this blog updated with all of the Nichols family happenings and cute pics of the boys.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Punkin Carving

Yesterday afternoon we spread out newspaper on our front porch, got out the carving kit, and started turning our pumpkins into masterpieces. I know I've mentioned this before, but pumpkin carving is NOT my favorite thing, mostly because just the smell of the pumpkin "guts" makes me gag. After years of just forcing myself to deal with it, I decided that Sean is now the official "Pumpkin-Gut-Scooper-Outer." I just get to do the fun part of cutting out designs and faces.

Taylor really, really wanted to help Sean scoop out the insides of the pumpkins until he actually saw them. Then he agreed with me - Daddy can do it.

Tay designed his very own pumpkin face this year and then Sean cut it out. He was so proud of his very own special pumpkin!

Now our porch is all decked out in spooky pumpkins. One week until Halloween!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vineyard Garden Center

Today we took the boys to the Vineyard Garden Center here in Provo. We weren't planning on doing anything today because we're all still getting over our colds, but we were just so cooped up in the house and couldn't take it anymore. During October the garden center has a Pumpkinland set up for younger kids and we had an absolute blast there!

They've got a smaller, more kid-friendly corn maze that keeps kids entertained with little signs that have jokes you can read along the way, plus a secret hidden room that you can try to find in order to get a special treat. Tay loved it, even though there was quite a lot of walking involved.

Ollie got the "prince" treatment - Sean carried him around in the Kokopax the whole time.

Once you finish the maze they've got a petting zoo and fun houses and tunnels for the kiddies to play in.

They also had some big bounce houses set up, and this four-year-old cannot resist a bounce house under any circumstance.

I snapped some pics of the hubby and I while Taylor was playing. I love the second one with Ollie pulling my hair.

After our adventures we walked around with a big wagon and picked out our pumpkins. Taylor rode in the cart since he was tuckered out from all the walking.

We all had such a great time together as a family and will definitely be coming back every year. I love fall!

Friday, October 21, 2011

How To: Make puzzles from coloring pages!

We've all been sick this week, and because of that we've all been cooped up in the house for way too long. Taylor especially has had a hard time dealing with a sad, screaming baby brother and a very sleepy, ornery mommy. So today I thought we'd do a little project together. Tay is obsessed with puzzles right now, so I thought we'd make some out of coloring pages. It turned out so well I'd like to share it!

Here are the materials you'll need:

Cereal/oatmeal/popcorn/cracker box (yay for recycling!)
Coloring pages or art drawn by your kiddo
Cutting board
Exacto knife
Spray adhesive

First, cut out the section of your box you'd like to use for your puzzle. I used a popcorn box and it was just the perfect size.

Next, color! Tay colored a Transformers picture, and Mommy had to get in on the action and colored a Super Why page.

If your cardboard is smaller than your coloring page, figure out what section of the page you want to be your puzzle. The easiest way for me to do this was to hold the cardboard behind the page and put it up to a light source. Trace the cardboard on the backside of your coloring page. Don't cut it out until you've glued the pieces together. It'll be much easier that way.

Using spray adhesive in a well-ventilated area, lightly spray both the cardboard and back of the coloring page, paying special attention to the corners. Allow pieces to sit for a few seconds, and then glue together using the outline you traced as a guide. Press well to ensure they're bonded completely.

Using an exacto knife and straight edge, cut off the extra pieces of your coloring page.

Now you should have a nice page glued well to the cardboard.

Next you need to draw out your puzzle pieces. I actually looked at another puzzle of Taylor's to get an idea of what puzzle pieces look like and how they go together. You could also make it easier on yourself and cut out simple squares. But of course I have to make everything difficult.

Again using your exacto knife, cut out all your pieces.

Now let the kids have at 'em! Taylor loved his little custom puzzles so much and after he finished both of them he was begging me to make more. I've created a monster! This was a pretty simple project and is a great way to reuse boxes that would normally just get thrown away, plus it's a fun way to preserve your child's artwork.

If you make one of these, please let me know how it turned out!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How cute is this?

I mean really. 

The cuteness level is completely off the charts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Little Monster

My mom bought Taylor this hat last week and he wears it all the time. I think it's just about the cutest thing ever! The first night he had it he actually slept with it on and had the worse bed-head ever the next day. I just love this kid to death.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is one of my very favorite dinners to make. It's so easy and SO yummy, and I thought I'd share it with everyone!

  • 1 head iceburg lettuce (you can use Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves, but iceburg works just as well)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Asian chile pepper sauce (optional, but I'd highly recommend)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

1. Separate individual lettuce leaves, trying not to tear them. Rinse and pat dry. Set aside.

1. Heat cooking oil in skillet. Add ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, until meat is cooked through. Drain and set aside.

2. In same skillet, cook onion, stirring frequently.

3. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir

4. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, sesame oil, and cooked beef; continue cooking about 2 minutes. 

5. Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving platter or plate, and pile meat mixture in a serving bowl. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy! 


Monday, October 17, 2011

Candy Land

The perfect game for chilly fall mornings.