Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seashell craft: Mermaid

Here's our second seashell project of the week!
I figured H would enjoy making a mermaid especially since The Little Mermaid is one of our favorite movies. Then I thought, N will probably want to make one when he sees his sister, so I made a merman for him. I had so much fun drawing these I ended up making a mermaid family.

Jumbo craft sticks
Black Sharpie (ultra fine point)
Hot glue gun

1. First draw mermaid on the craft stick. Then glue on shells to make a tail, top and necklace.
Tip: draw with pencil first then trace over with sharpie.

2. Paint with watercolors.
Meet our Mermaid family!
Painted by N, Eva, & H (mermaid mommy & daughter)
Options: Add a magnet or wooden clothespin behind it to make it utilitarian. Personalize the mermaid to look like a friend and give it as a fun gift!

Who's your favorite character and/ or song in Disney's The Little Mermaid?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Checking Off Our Summer List

As you may remember I talked about our family's summer list two weeks ago on this post. Well, I'm happy to say we were able to check off a few things on that list this past weekend.

#6 on our list was to visit a lighthouse and after doing a bit of research we found that there was one in Cape May, which is only a 2 hour drive away. Also while looking for other things to do in Cape May, we found that they had a FREE zoo close by which we knew the kids would really enjoy. And based on most reviews we read, we knew that the zoo was situated within a park and would only take about 2 hours to walk around, so we decided that we would do a day trip to Cape May. Praying and hoping for good weather on Saturday, when the forecast called for a windy but for the most part dry day, we decided it was a go for Cape May!

We set out around 9:40am and were really lucky that we didn't run into any crazy shore traffic so was able to arrive at the park/zoo around 11:20am. First we went to the surrounding park to have a picnic lunch (#3 on our summer list) and watched people ride on the zoo's train, the Hummingbird Express, and the carousel. Then we went into the zoo to check out the animals. This zoo is very well maintained and very clean! One of the ways they keep it clean is that they don't allow food or drinks in the zoo except in 1 designated around where they sell food. They have a few spots around the zoo where they collect donations to help them maintain the zoo, and if you ever get a chance to go I totally recommend you donate because they really do a tremendous job here!

They have tons of pea fowls (learned that the males are called peacocks and the females are call peahens) wandering the grounds which all the visitors seemed to enjoy and 1 even had his feathers on full display!

 *This is the first time I've seen one with this colored body.
 *Kids totally loving the peacock.
*Feathers on full display! There were tons of people around just in awe of the beauty.

There were also quite a few exhibits where the visitors walk around on raised ramps so you could get a very nice view of the animals, which both John and I really enjoyed and thought were a great idea! After walking through most of this zoo, and having visited about 5 different zoos in our short time being parents, we both agreed that we liked the way this one was maintained and set up the best.

*John showing E3 how to use binoculars on one of the ramps.
 *Checking out a black bear.
*Seeing a python in motion.

After we finished seeing all the animals, the kids really wanted to go on the train ride and carousel. These rides you had to pay for, so we went to purchase some tokens and got on the train first and then the carousel. They all loved the rides and when we asked them at the end of the day, they said it was the part they enjoyed the best!

It was around 2:30pm when we were done with the zoo and the rides. We then took a short drive, about 20 minutes, and arrived at the Cape May lighthouse. The kids were instantly amazed by how tall the lighthouse was. We took this opportunity to explain to them the purpose of a lighthouse. And then took some pictures outside the lighthouse but decided to not go up because we weren't sure if the kids could climb 199 steps and also it was really windy and would probably be even more so up high which we were sure the kids would not enjoy.

Luckily, right next to the lighthouse is the beach! No swimming was allowed at this beach but that suited us just fine since the kids only really enjoy playing in the sand. We took the short walk from the lighthouse to the beach and the kids had a blast playing in the sand.

 *Taking their shoes off so they could run around on the sand.
 *Another view of the lighthouse.
 * Took E4 a while to get used to the sand and actually get down and play.
 *A WWII bunker on the beach.
*E3 playing in the sand.

Around 5:30pm we were finally able to convince the kids to leave the beach and go look for some dinner. We finally got home around 9:30pm, being gone for almost exactly 12 hours, we were so glad to have done so much! Checked off #3 Picnic in the park, #6 Visit a lighthouse, and #7 Go to the beach all in one day! 

Do any fun things this past weekend? We would love to hear from you!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Seashell craft: Crab

One of the things we did while we were in OC, MD was search for seashells. It's one of my favorite things to do, I love how every shell is unique. H&N had a so much fun and they were pretty good about finding ones that weren't broken. Since we found so many I decided to come up with some crafts to make with the kids and share them with you throughout the week.
Our first project, making a crab magnet and paper weight.
Wood shapes or construction paper
Hot glue gun
Magnet or large rock
Beads or googly eyes (optional)

1. First hot glue the wooden shapes to create claws. If you don't have this you can easily cut out claws with some construction paper or even make them with shells.
2. Paint claws and shell. Allow to dry.
3. Glue claws and beads for eyes, another simple option is just paint them.
4. Final step, glue on magnet or large rock.
So now every time we look on our fridge we will reminded of our fun trip to Ocean City. While we were making this H said to me "Mommy I like Ocean City, can we go again?"

Do you collect shells while you're at the beach? What do you do with them?
Did you ever find anything else on the beach?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Time for the beach!

Last year was Virginia Beach this time we headed over to Ocean City, Maryland for vacation! It's a little early in the season but it was a perfect week. Water was cold but we still got our feet wet.... a little more with N when an unsuspecting wave splashed in. The cold water didn't seem to phase the kids at all.

I told my husband it felt strange being down at the beach and have it so quiet. Some stores weren't even open for business yet. We saw many owners painting and prepping for the beach season as we walked on the boardwalk. It was nice to have the beach to ourselves and not have to walk through the crowds. I just love sitting on the beach, such a calming effect. Looking out and knowing there's so much more there in the sea, and being in awe of God's beautiful creation.
Even H&N took time to enjoy! I'm glad I captured this moment.
From digging in the sand to kite flying. Or eating delicious crepes at our favorite breakfast place to trying out a soft shell crab sandwich, Mmmm. It was a great time with the family! When it was time to go home the kids didn't want to leave, neither did I. One of my dreams to own a beach house... hmm maybe when we win the powerball, Ha!

Are you a beach lover like me? What's your favorite spot to relax?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Planning Summer Activities

I've been MIA for a while, mainly because I've been dealing with a few kid related issues that I'll try to share in the future when I have a better grasp on everything and can do a more thorough post on them.

But now I want to talk about planning summer activities! The weather is starting to get warmer where we live and we are spending more time outdoors these days. The 3 older E kids are also starting to get to know some new kids in our neighborhood and playing with them. I'm starting to experience kids coming to our door and asking if the kids can come out and play. It's a little weird and exciting at the same time, I'm not quite used to my kids being old enough for this but I'm really happy they are making new friends and being outside more.

John and I have been coming up with a summer list and make some plans for the warm days to come. E1, E2, and E3 will be attending a summer camp at our church for a week. And E1 will be attending a pre-K summer reading program for the whole of July. We still have plenty of weekends to fill up though.

We decided that this summer the one big activity we wanted to do together was biking. We got the kids their helmets and are in the process of finding some 2nd hand bikes for them on Craigslist. It has been MANY years since I last biked but supposedly the saying is that you never forget right? So I need to find a bike as well and see if the saying is true. This is the one big activity we want to do this summer, other things in our list are as follows:

1) Go to the zoo at least one more time before our membership expires.
2) Go to Please Touch Museum before our membership expires.
3) Have a picnic at the park at least one time.
4) Plant something with the kids.
5) Fly a kite with the kids.
6) Take the kids to see a lighthouse.
7) Go to the beach at least one time.
8) Make our own bubble solution and attempt to make huge bubbles.
9) Go fruit picking.

In general we want to do our best to spend as much time outside as possible.

Do you have any summer plans? Would love to hear what they are!


Monday, May 13, 2013

A poem for Mom...

The other day I saw this poem online. It's a fun spin off from If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff.  My kids love these book series. If you haven't read one I would recommend it, definitely one to add to your personal library.

Image from
If You Give a Mom a MuffinBy Beth Brubaker
If you give a mom a muffin,
she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three year-old will come and spill the coffee. 
Mom will wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry into the washer,
she'll trip over shoes and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook
(How to Make 101 Things With a Pound of Hamburger.)
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse,
which is being dumped out by her two year-old.
Then she'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two year-old.
While she is changing the two year-old, the phone will ring.
Her five year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she was supposed to phone a friend
to come over for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some more.
And chances are, if she has a cup a coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

I know I had days like that, I'd make myself a nice cup of hot coffee, take a sip (if I'm lucky) but then get sidetracked by one thing after another around the house. And realize oh yea, my cup of coffee... wait it's cold! The day and the life of a SAHM. Gotta love it! Funny how things like being able to drink a cup of coffee becomes a luxury when you become a mom. Thank God for a microwave, HA!

Do you have a funny or favorite poem to share? 
Is there anything in you did in the past that you now consider a luxury?

Wishing you a great start for the week!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Sending out a special Thank You to our mothers today.

Dear Mom, 
Thanks for all you did and still do for us and our families! We're so lucky to have you as our mothers.
May God bless you.
Eva & Zi
Eva & her mom

Zi & her mom
Wishing all our "Mommy" readers a very HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
May you feel all the LOVE and PAMPERING you deserve today.

What are you doing to celebrate Mother's day?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thanks a latte for making me one smart cookie!

As promised here is H's gift for her teacher to show our appreciation!
I bought a cute polka dot tin pail filled it with homemade cookies, a Starbucks gift card and designed a blackboard "Thank you" tag for her teachers.
This was the first time I tried this cookie and royal icing recipe. (See below)
It definitely requires some time but fairly easy once you get the hang of it. I got inspired when a friend of mine made these beautiful cookies as part of her daughter's party favor. H loved them so much. I never seen her eat a cookie that fast! :)

Lemon and Vanilla Bean White Sugar Cookie Recipe (From
*NOTE: I did not use vanilla bean since I did not have it on hand. 
Also keep cutouts refrigerated before transferring to baking sheet to help cookies keep their shape as they bake.

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Zest of half a lemon (or the zest of a whole lemon, if you love lemon)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and lemon zest until blended.  Mix in the flour and salt on low speed just until incorporated.  Form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1-2 hours. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll the dough out on a well floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness.  Cut with cookie cutters as desired and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.  Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, until fully cooked but not at all browned.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Decorate as desired.

Royal Icing Recipe (From
4 cups powdered sugar 
2 tbsp meringue powder 
5 tbsp water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance.  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  (If you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick.  Add a little more liquid and try again.)

Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie.  Let stand so the icing will set.  Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.

Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.  Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl.  If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again.

Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner, and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along.  Allow to set. Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired.
Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid.

Sending out a big THANK YOU to our readers who are or was a teacher!  (School teachers, Sunday school, music, dance, etc.) We appreciate all the hard work you do and for your love and patience to teach our kids. THANK YOU!!!!

Who is or was your favorite teacher?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

An apple for the teacher!

In search for a gift for Teacher's Appreciation Week?
How about our A+ APPLE PIN?
Want a magnet instead, we are happy to accommodate a special order. Please send us an email at to confirm your special order.

Wait there's more! Order now and we will send you a FREE CARD download via email for your favorite teacher.
Thanks for buzzing by our honeycomb store!
Eva & Zi

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation week is May 6-10 this year and I've been brainstorming gift ideas for H's teachers. She has 3 teachers in her classroom (2 main teachers and one that helps out in different classes as needed) I always run into the dilemma on what's an appropriate and considerate gift for the teachers. Do I give the main teacher a "nicer" gift since she does all the planning etc. or do I give all three teachers the same? Fortunately H's school has a list of the teachers favorites (Ex: food, treats, stores, etc.) so that helps me out a bit. I don't really remember giving my teachers gifts, maybe with an exception when asked to chip in for a special gift. As I searched for some inspiration I found some cute expressions and gift ideas.
Here are my Top 10 Favorite gift ideas: (Not in any particular order)
1. You deserve an extra Payday - with a Payday candy bar
2. Your teaching is right on target- with Target gift card
3. You are o'fish'ally the best! - with Goldfish crackers or Swedish fish
4. Shooting for brownie points- with brownies or box of brownies
5. You are a 'Fanta'stic teacher - with a bottle of Fanta
6. We 'flippin' love you! - with spatula  & pancake or cookie mix
7. We are fortunate to have you - takeout box with fortune cookies
8. I'm so lucky to have you as my teacher - with lottery ticket
9. We need S'more teachers like you - with S'mores kit
10. Here's a 'pat' on the back for doing such a great job! - with gift certificate for a massage

From all those great inspirations I came up with this for H's teachers: Thanks a latte for making me one smart cookie! I'm sure you can figure it out, I'll post the final product next week so stay tuned.

Do you give gifts to your kid's teacher(s)? 
If you're a teacher what kind of gifts do you enjoy getting?
Which is your favorite quote/gift?

Thanks for reading!