Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Last Minute Thanksgiving Activity

27 Nov

We celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband’s family tomorrow but we celebrate it again with my family on Saturday.  For our gathering Saturday, my cousin came up with a great idea…a table decorating contest.  We made a last-minute Thankful Tree this afternoon using everything we had at home (except for the kisses, I ran to Duane Reade for) to use as our centerpiece with other cute fall decorations (check out my Instagram for our finished table Saturday afternoon).  It’s easy to make, you can make it Thanksgiving morning:

  • paper towel roll
  • one sheet brown construction paper, cut into stips
  • red, orange and yellow construction paper (cut out leaves)
  • crayons, marker, or pen
  • tape
  • glue
  • vase
  • bag of Hershey kisses (we used caramel for the fall colors)
  • stapler
  • Print out this little note:

Our Thankful Tree: There is so much to be thankful for. We’ve left a few branches for you to add more. When you’re done writing, just staple them on. And don’t forget to grab a kiss, Because we are so thankful to be here with you! Happy Thanksgiving! XO

DSC_0616

Cut the bottom of the paper towel roll so that it looks as pictured below.DSC_0620

Next, on the opposite of the roll, slice cuts around the top.  Cut the brown construction paper into strips.  Fold in half, glue together partially then stick into slits.  DSC_0625

Use a vase, place paper towel roll in center (taping flaps down is optional) then fill with Hershey Kisses!
DSC_0629

Let your child fill out as many leaves as they want and talk to them about what it means to be thankful.  Staple some leaves on but leave some branches for guests at Thanksgiving lunch/ dinner can add their own thankful thoughts.Display on table with the print out note (signed by your child), extra leaves, a permanent marker, a little note, and a stapler.  DSC_0641

DSC_0640

Happy Thanksgiving!  Thank you for all of your support and for following!

Getting Ready For The Holidays with Kiwi Crate

4 Nov

20131104-074438.jpg

In September, I attended the Fashion Forward Conference where I discovered Kiwi Crate.  My girls LOVE doing crafts and LOVE receiving packages in the mail.    Kiwi Crate mails a crate of materials and inspiration for 2-3 activities to your home.  Perfect to have handy when stuck inside on cold and/or rainy afternoons!

Join and have a new theme crate sent to your home every month.  Examples include gardening, dinosaurs, and space.

Image from Kiwi Crate

Image from Kiwi Crate

Additional materials can be added to the crate for $9.95 a month so siblings can create and do the activities together.

Purchase Single Crates and choose your craft!  Perfect for gifts.  Holiday crates are available too!

From L to R: Space Hero, Fairy Fun, Antarctic Adventure, Thanksgiving Turkeys (all Images from Kiwi Crate)

From L to R: Space Hero, Fairy Fun, Antarctic Adventure, Thanksgiving Turkeys (all Images from Kiwi Crate)

We recently had the opportunity to try the Thanksgiving Turkeys Crate.  A wonderful activity to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit.  The crate includes materials to create Turkey Place Cards and A Turkey Game!  Picture Instruction cards are included for each activity, making it easy for you child to put it together with little help.

kiwicrateturkeys

Easy

Easy to make! My 5 year-old was able to put them together on her own, with little help.  These place cards would be adorable to have at your Thanksgiving feast.

KiwiCrateTurkeyGame

A fun game to play with friends and family this Thanksgiving. Color the Turkey and feathers. Follow the picture instructions to put together. Throw the ball to see if you can knock over the feathers.  Our Turkey wouldn’t stay up so we used our Kiwi Crate box to add support.

I’m excited to order the girls more crates especially the Christmas Crates and stocking stuffers!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I received a sample crate for the purpose of this review.

Ideas For Thanksgiving Fun

20 Nov

I always enjoyed sitting at the “kids table” when my entire family got together for meals over the Holidays.  It gave me a sense of independence and freedom from my parents and I got to sit with my older cousins, who I looked up to.  We are headed down to my parents in Virginia this year.  It’s the first time in a long time, I can’t even remember how long, that we will be getting together with extended family.  There will be about 60 people and I am excited for my girls to experience the “kids table” with the next generation cousins.  In the past, we got together at a family members house so the kids could run around in the yard or play in the basement.  With the number of people expected, we had to rent a place so I have been on Pinterest everyday trying to find ideas to spruce up the “kids table” and keep them entertained until it is time to eat.  Here are five ideas I found for Thanksgiving fun:

1.  Pin It: My girls love Pin the ____ games.  We decided to make a Pin the Gobbler on the Turkey game.  Each child will get a gobbler.  They will have to write what they are thankful for on it.  They will be blindfolded and will have try to pin it closest to where the gobbler goes. My daughter just finished coloring and is checking out how her gobbler will look.

2. Coloring is always great for keeping little ones entertained.  I love this crayon holder from parents.com.  Put a turkey at each seat or spread a few out on the table for sharing.  Make sure to leave some paper or print Thanksgiving Themed coloring pages.

Image from parents.com. Click to find out how to make this adorable Turkey.

2.  Let them Play: These finger puppets are adorable from The Idea Room are adorable and you can purchase the pattern for $2.50.

Image from The Idea Room

3. Mix it up: The kids can make this adorable Gratitude Turkey Treat Jar from Toddler Approved while they wait for dinner or dessert.  Fill it with a snack mix or left over Halloween candy as they suggest to take home.  My oldest came up with a mix using cheerios, raisins, dried cranberries, Brach’s Autumn Mix and Enjoy Life chocolate chips.

Image from Toddler Approved, click link to find out how to make.

4.  Save your place:  My oldest loves place cards.  She enjoys looking for her name and her sisters name.  Attempt to avoid arguing over who is sitting next to who by using adorable these adorable place cards from Dandee: A Happily Crafted Life. We are going to try cutting lollipop sticks so the little ones don’t poke themselves on the toothpick.

Image from Dandee: A Happily Crafted Life, click link to find out how to make.

5. Story Time:  Have the older kids read to the younger kids at the table.  A few fun Thanksgiving books we love are:

Image from Barnes and Noble.

Image from Barnes and Noble.

Image from Barnes and Noble.

Fun Food Friday: Turkey Time

16 Nov

My youngest and I read 10 Fat Turkey’s before lunch yesterday.  It is one of our favorites to read around Thanksgiving.  After, I decided I would try to come up with a “Turkey” for lunch.  This is what I came up with:

To make this “turkey” you need:

  • 1/2 a bagel
  • cream cheese
  • 2 slices Turkey Salami
  • 1 Mom Made Turkey Meatball
  • piece of cheese cut for the beak
  • grape tomatoes, halved for feathers and gobbler
  • 1 pickle  for a feather(we used a sandwich sliced pickle)
  • Blueberries for feather
  • clementine, peeled and in pieces for feather

Spread cream cheese on the bagel.  Place turkey salami on top of cream cheese.  Cook one Mom Made Turkey Meatball for the head of the turkey and place on the salami.  Use a knife to spread a little cream cheese on the meatball for the eyes.  Place half a grape tomato by the meatball for the gobbler. Cut a piece of cheese for the beak and place on top of the tomato and meatball.  Next, place the rest of the grape tomato halves, the pickle, blueberries, and the clementines to make them look like the “feathers”.

Happy Eating!

A Freshmade NYC Thanksgiving {Recipes & Review}

13 Nov

A few weeks ago my friend, her son, my oldest daughter and I attended a farm-to-table class at Freshmade NYC. I was excited to try the class because all the ingredients are fresh, seasonal vegetables and herbs they receive from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group that week. During the class the kids made Sweet Potato- Apple Stuffing Muffins and Quick Pan Gravy (recipes below). As Thanksgiving nears I have been thinking about what to bring for our family potluck. The recipes we made at Freshmade NYC were delicious and great for kids to make with you to bring to Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. Cara was nice enough to share the recipes below.

What I loved about Freshmade NYC:

  • Cara and Thomas, founders, were amazing with the kids. They found positive ways to redirect the kids when situations got a little hairy.
  • Cara and Thomas encouraged all the kids to touch, taste, and smell the ingredients as they were using them.
  • My daughter tried vegetables she would never have tried at home and discovered she liked them.
  • While the stuffing muffins were cooking, they read stories on the floor.

What my daughter learned at Freshmade NYC:

  • “The Claw”: Since attending Freshmade NYC, my daughter has been helping cut vegetables with her Curious Chef knife. While at the Freshmade NYC farm-to-table class Cara taught her about using the “claw” method when cutting so she won’t cut herself.
  • How to crack an egg on the table. Thomas helped my daughter crack an egg on the the flat surface of the table. Since she has been helping crack eggs and gets excited to do so.
  • Peeling fruit and vegetables. The kids took turns learning to peel apples and sweet potatoes.

We had a great experience and are looking forward to attending more classes. Check out Freshmade NYC classes and events by clicking the links!

Sweet Potato-Apple Stuffing Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium sized apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 scallions, green and white parts, diced
  • 4 cups bread, diced (we love a whole grain baguette or roasted garlic ciabatta bread in this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup dried organic cranberries (look for cranberries that are sweetened with apple juice rather than sugar and ones that are preservative free)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Combination of your favorite herbs (we loved fresh thyme, parsley, and rosemary for this recipe. About 1-2 tablespoons of each, or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions: In a large skillet, add butter and sauté onions, celery, sweet potatoes and apples until tender, set aside to cool. In a large bowl, add diced bread, herbs, scallions, nutmeg, cranberries, and sweet potato-apple mixture. Add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Spoon into a lightly greased muffin pan and bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool slightly and remove from muffin pan. Serve warm with gravy.

Quick Pan Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 2 pats of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
  • Fresh herbs
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper

Directions: In a small sauce pan, melt butter and add flour, cook over low to medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add stock and simmer for about 15 minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Season with fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

From the Kitchen of Freshmade NYC
www.freshmadenyc.com

Disclaimer: I received a free trial class for attending the Freshmade NYC open house event whic I used for the purpose of this post. All opinions expressed are my own. The recipes received are from the kitchen of Freshmade NYC.  Thank you to my friend, Tori, for sharing some of her photos for this post.

I Know Two Little Girls Who Swallowed a Pie…

22 Nov

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a PieBoth of my girls love books.  We visit the Barnes & Noble in Tribeca at least once a week.  A few weeks ago I was on a mission for books for Thanksgiving and found I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Allison Jackson.   We have read it just about every night since we bought it.  The girls LOVE it and my older daughter even helps read it to my younger daughter.  Since we have been reading it so much and talking about Thanksgiving, we decided to make a pumpkin pie to share with some friends at a potluck.  I had most of the ingredients sitting around so I only had to pick up a few things.  The recipe below was very easy.  Unfortunately, my youngest was napping but it would have been so easy for her to help with.  While the pie was cooking we read I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie and I changed it to “I know two little girls who swallowed a pie” and my older daughter thought it was funny.  If you are looking for a last minute activity that you could share on Thanksgiving, definitely try this.

Tips before you start:

  • Measure out all the ingredients and set them up where your child will be preparing the pie.
  • Number the ingredients if you want your child to work on number identification and then have them count the ingredients you are using for the pie.
  • Make sure you encourage proper hand washing.
  • If you have more than one child helping, let them take turns putting in the ingredients and when whisking count to ten and then switch whiskers.

Recipe for a Perfect Pumpkin Pie (1 9 in Pie)

Nutritional Information: Amount Per Serving Calories: 379 | Total Fat: 14.3g | Cholesterol: 70mg

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin (I used Libby’s Pumpkin)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (I used Santini Organic Sweetened Condensed Milk)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt ( I didn’t measure salt, only put a little in our pie)
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (I used Whole Foods brand in the freezer section)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.
     

Other cute Thanksgiving books I found:

T Is for Turkey  10 Fat Turkeys

Gobble-Gobble: Don’t forget Thanksgiving

21 Nov

Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier every year.  I saw decorations set up in a store before Halloween, which seems way too early. I thought decorating for Christmas started the day after Thanksgiving.  I was in Pittsburgh over the weekend and they had the lighting of their tree and there were Santa’s and elves everywhere.  It looked like the North Pole.  I almost forgot that Thanksgiving is Thursday. I love Thanksgiving and don’t want my girls to skip over it so the next couple days leading up to it we will be talking about the meaning of Thanksgiving and preparing decorations and dishes for our Thanksgiving.

Today we started with a fun, easy, and edible Turkey Craft.  I did it with my older daughter while my younger daughter was napping. If my younger daughter had been awake I would have she would have needed hand over hand help.  I think it would have been too hard for her.  While we were working on the Turkey we talked about Thanksgiving and what we were thankful for.

Ingredients:

  • Head- 1 bite sized brownie
  • Eyes-2 purple skittles 
  • Beak- 1 candy corn
  • Gobbler- 1 strawberry fruit snack
  • Feet- 1 blueberry yogurt covered pretzel.  You can also use a chocolate covered pretzel or regular pretzel.
  • Body- 1 pear, you can also use an apple.
  • Feathers- 5 dum-dum lollipops, we used different flavors.
  • “Glue”- Smuckers Microwave topping Hot Fudge.
  • Wilton Sparkle Gel- Use any color, my daughter insisted on pink.
  • Child friendly Knife like Nuk Kiddy Cuttlery
*If your child has allergies, make sure you read labels.

How to put your Turkey together:

Put all ingredients on a plate.  Follow the instructions for heating Fudge topping.  Put it in a separate cup or bowl.  Start creating you Turkey.  I found it better to start with the head.  We used the Hot Fudge topping to “glue” the eyes, beak and gobbler on to the head.  My daughter needed help with the “gluing” because she wasn’t using enough to hold it on.  Once the head was together she put dots in the skittles for the eyeballs and drew a mouth. After the head was complete, we put it to the side while she stuck the dum-dums in the pear.  As she put them in she said what she was thankful for.  I gave her a few examples first.  Next, we “glued” the head to the pear by putting the hot fudge on the bottom of the brownie and she stuck it to the pear.  After the head was the body she put the fudge on the pretzel and put the pear on top.  When the turkey was complete I put it on a different plate and wrote “Happy Thanksgiving” with the pink gel icing.  It went into the fridge for a while to let the fudge thicken.  You can use your Turkey as a centerpiece for the table where the children will sit. Each child can have a dum-dum after dinner.  If there are more than 5 kids, use the number of dum-dums that will be at the table.