Quick update.

Welp! I’ve been slacking on the updates mainly because I haven’t been doing much but sitting on my couch knitting and watching the kids destroy my living room. [shrug]

I am still doing “preschool” with Tiago but he isn’t really to interested all time. I think it’s because I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m using these GREAT tools from other websites but I feel like once we’re done with the activity pack, Tiago and I look at each other like “now what?” So for the time being, most of our “learning” is just play time with books and craft stuff.

So I made the decision. I went ahead and purchased the “Letter of the Week Curriculum” from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I figured for only 10 bucks I can turn Tiago’s preschool time in to something really fabulous. It has everything you need to homeschool a preschooler including printables, lesson plans, activities, crafts. I figured it would be perfect for me because all of the hard work is done 🙂 . I am also viewing it as an opportunity to see what’s expected of a curriculum so that I can tweek it and expand on it in the future.

Also, I’ve spent about 25 hours this week knitting this top for a friend’s daughter’s birthday. The party is tomorrow and the top isn’t done. Helder just said “Put it down. We’ll get her a $10 gift card and then you can mail her the top when it’s done.” I feel like that’s tacky; especially since I’ve spent SO much time working on this.. but alas, he is correct. Considering it’s almost midnight, I have to work at 4 am tomorrow, and I’m still knitting.. a gift card she will get at her party. 🙂


PLAY SILKS! Picture Tutorial on dying your own play silks


I’ve been wanting to get some playsilks for Tiago and John Carlo for a really long time now but just couldn’t bring myself to spend $30 on some color fabric pieces.  I recently bought a few silk scarves (the ones in this tutorial are 21.5×21.5) on a whim and then decided I would dye them.  So here’s a lot of pictures showing you what I did using Kool Aid and Wilton’s gel food coloring!  If you do it, SHOW ME! 😉



First, prep your materials

Soak your silks in a bath of hot water and white vinegar (approx. 2 cups vinegar)

Mix 3 packets of Kool Aid with hot water and 2 cups of vinegar (separate mixture than your pre-soak.. those other silks are still in that bowl)

Mix until all Kool Aid is dissolved.

Add your silk to color-bath.. Make sure it gets totally submerged.. You’ll see those “bubble” pockets in my silk.. Those dyed much lighter creating spots all over. I personally don’t mind, but if you will mind, make sure you keep the whole thing under.

After about 3 or 4 minutes, dump out your colored water and silk. You could just remove the silk from the dye bath and bring it to the sink.. but why risk dripping it all over the floor when you can just dump everything??

Rinse your silk in cool water until the water runs clear.. or in my case, until it runs “clear enough”. 😉



Prepare another dye bath the same way as the Kool Aid (hot water and vinegar) and add in the coloring. I use gel coloring by Wilton but you could use any kind.


…Or you’ll get these SPOTS!

I dripped some of the color from the dye bath on a scrap piece of fabric to check how dark the color would be. Except that I tested it on bamboo flannel and it doesn’t absorb the same way silk does but whatever, it’s green, that’s what I was looking for.


Soak for 3-4 minutes and then rinse.

For my blue dye.. I also used Wilton’s coloring and decided to dissolve it separately to make sure there were no chunks. These are the buggers that are going to leave those weird spots on your silk if you don’t make sure they’re dissolved completely. Your water will need to be REALLY HOT to make dissolving easier.

Hang to dry. (See the lighter colored spots?)

That’s all!

NOW PLAY! Our silks quickly turned in to super hero capes and flags. But I used green, red, and blue to make grass, water, and fire for playing with all of their “guys” (action figures, of sorts). Anyway, The whole point is imaginative play.. so if they just want to juggle or want to be super heroes- it’s ok in my book! 🙂

Color Review and Feelings

Today was our second day of fun learning! 🙂 We started off with a review using the color posters that were up on the wall.

Next, I had Tiago do the Paintbrush Color Matching again from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  Little brother John Carlo looked on.. and then decided to get in on the action right before I whisked him away for his nap.


We moved on to another activity/lesson that I thought Tiago would be familiar with.  Again, transitioning in to a schedule and learning routine can be overwhelming for kids who are used to free play and tv all day, everyday.  So for now, I’m trying to stick to things that will no discourage him.

We used the Feelings Tot Book from 1+1+1=1 .  First we went through the mini-book and looked the little kids and their expressions and read how they were feeling.  I also had Tiago act out each feeling as we went through them.  We moved on to the boy and girl, sorted through all the different heads/feelings, and then Tiago just wanted to play with them and “She is sad, Mommy!”  There is a small list of questions and scenarios that you can use with this part of the pack but Tiago wasn’t listening to me so I just let him play with the expressions.

This Tot book also includes a matching game using feelings cards.  I showed Tiago how to match them up but he just used them to make a “train track” instead of actually matching them.

I got some of trays similar to these a couple of months ago with the intentions of doing the whole Tot Tray thing, but I don’t really have the space to keep trays set up.  So when it’s time for an activity, I just use the tray so Tiago knows where to keep everything so it doesn’t end up all of the living room floor.

Today he wanted to try out stamps for the first time.  I found some Halloween/Fall stamps at Walmart for $0.99 (3 stamps and a small ink pad) a couple of weeks ago and bought two sets.  I also have Ocean Life stampers and Zoo Animal stampers that he wanted to use so I gave in and let him have the ocean ones since he loves whales.


For more info. or resources on what I’ve written about, please visit their creator’s sites! 🙂

Tot Books & Packs                                 coahbutton

Tiago’s first day of school.. kind of.

So like I’ve said before, I’ve spent the last few months gathering and sorting information from the internet on fun activities for Tiago to do that will help him learn basic preschool concepts.  I am so dearly grateful and thankful for the former teachers turned homeschoolers all around the web that post free printables and fun learning activites for people like myself to use.  I’ve never been a teacher, don’t really know what little kids are supposed to know, and am only creative when it comes to my sewing machine.

Since I had no clue what I was “doing”, I just decided to start day one with a simple gluing and color sorting activity.  I knew that Tiago was fairly familiar with colors so I figured it would be a nice way to ease in to this new thing of school without discouraging him by “not knowing anything”.  We used the “My First Color Book” from Confessions of a Homeschooler and just made “color posters” rather than the book.  I cut up all the colored pieces and then laid them out for Tiago to look at.  I had him choose a picture and tell me what color it is and then we found all the other pictures of that color.  When we found all of the orange pictures, for example, I gave him the orange page and had him glue on the images on there.  After completing all of them, I put them up for him on the wall so we could review them through out the week.  I can always make them in to a little book later but for now, he likes to look at them!

After we went through all the colors, I gave him the “Paintbrush Color Matching” game also from Confessions of a Homeschooler to practice sorting the colors on his own.  I only gave him three colors at a time and he did really well.  I was surprised, actually.  Guess I need to give me boy some more credit! 🙂  I like the Paintbrush game because it also helps with fine motor skills trying to put the paintbrushes in to the paint jars.

Pretty Colors!

I saw a blog (edit: this blog , Thanks Matt!) by a homeschooling mom that had colored alphabet macaroni in her sensory box.

Anyway, The only place I could find alphabet pasta was on Amazon and you needed to buy a case of 15 boxes and I just don’t need that much.  I’ve also seen colored craft rice but I wanted to use something a little bigger.  Since orzo was on sale 5/$4, I got that.

I also found a tutorial on how to color your pasta (to make beads and such) that I also don’t know where it is but I’m sure you can google it and find something similar.  I just coated the bottom of my container with a little rubbing alcohol.  The smell made me want to vomit but alas, I added the orzo and some food coloring, gave it a big SHAKE and VIOLA! Colored pasta.

So THIS beautiful rainbow is what will be in the weekly changing sensory box! Hopefully debuting this week when Tiago starts “school”.

Instead of preparing for the Hurricane.. I’m making Rainbow Cake

Tomorrow we will be celebrating a bunch of birthdays!  Tiago turned 3 earlier this month and John Carlo turned 1 back in June.  In true Anne (my mom) fashion, we are having a large shebang to celebrate all kinds of anniversaries (birthdays, weddings, the-first-time-we-met..). Anyway, On to the good stuff.  I got the idea of Rainbow Cake from the internet (basically, I don’t know who started it, but it’s like a huge thing now).  So I decided I would make these cakes for Tiago and John Carlo!

How it’s done:

1.  Get all of the things you need and mix up the ingredients according to the box.  Or if you’re awesome, make up whatever cake batter you know how to do from scratch.

2.  Next, separate your cake mix into 6 cups/containers/tupperwares/whatevers.  Use your food coloring to achieve the color you wish to use (ROYGBV here).  I used a 1 c. measuring cup and scooped the batter in to each cup.  I didn’t level it off or tap it even.. I just kind of scooped it.  So figure roughly 3/4 a cup per color.

3.  Now take each color and pour it in to your cake pan.  Just dump each color right in the center and the batter will spread itself out.

4.  This is what mine looked like after dumping in all of the colors.  It was a little clumpy and bunching in the center so I just gave it a couple of taps on the counter and leveled it out.

5.  If making a double layer cake, reverse the order you did your colors in so the colors will be evenly distributed through out the whole cake.  So if you poured red in first on the first cake, red should be poured last in the second cake.

6.  By the time I had gotten to my third cake, I was low on food coloring and getting too lazy/tired to make sure it was mixed in all the way.  So to make up for deficiencies in color, I added a little bit of flair!  Who knows what the inside will look like when it’s cut– but right now it looks GREAT!

Here they are out of the oven. Yay!

The swirly one became Sponge Bob for John Carlo! Pretty comical; and yes, I know his tie is red but I ran out of red coloring.

I cut these pieces off the top to make the layers flat, isn’t it gorgeous?  This is a horizontal cut though so not too indicative of how incredible an actual piece of cake will look!

And finally, Because Rainbow Cakes create way too much beautiful color to ignore.. Here’s pictures of my mess!

Enjoy your Rainbow cake!  If you make one, make sure you let me know and show me pics!



Homemade Playdough with Kool Aid

I found a recipe online for home made play-dough using Kool Aid.  Considering Kool Aid is super cheap and so are the rest of the ingredients used to make it, I decided to give it a go!  I was actually surprised at how much dough was made.  I would say the recipe yields about 10-12 oz. of dough; more than enough for 2 children.



1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup salt

2 Tbs cream of tartar

1 Tbs vegetable oil

1 cup water

1 packet Kool Aid (unsweetened)

*Ignore the sugar in the picture.. there is no sugar in the recipe.


1. Combine all of the ingredients in to a medium sauce pan and mix.

2. Put sauce pan over medium heat and stir for about 5 minutes. **I added a little bit of gel food coloring to make the color more vibrant but it’s a completely optional step.

3. The mixture will start to thicken and eventually get clumpy.  As it starts to stick to itself and form a ball in the center of the pan, remove from the stove top.

4. I plopped the clumpy ball on to the shiny side of a piece of Reynold’s freezer paper.  I let it cool off for a few minutes and then slowly started trying to knead it.  I could only do a little bit at a time because the center of the dough stayed very hot.  Continue kneading until the play dough is soft and smooth.  Start playing or store it in an air tight container or bag until ready to use!

5. ENJOY!  This is a great, non-toxic, safe way for little kids to play!

I wish I had more cream of tartar and more little storage containers because I would have made every color!

Hope you and your little ones have fun with your play dough! Post pics!