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Stepping Stone

DIY Memory Stepping Stone

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Stepping Stone 1Now you CAN save those precious hand and foot prints or even handwriting! 

This is a fabulous activity for kids of ALL ages, and what a terrific way to spend some valuable time together as a family.

It’s also a much appreciated gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, birthdays, or simply a fun way to decorate your yard as a family project.




Do-It-Yourself Stepping Stones

*If you’d rather purchase a kit, than make it from scratch, you might want to check THIS out.

 

Directions:

Buy a package of concrete at your local hardware store.

Stepping Stone 2

 Mix concrete according to package directions.

As you will see, we made several at a time.  Stepping Stone 3

Because we made half dozen at a time, for convenience Stepping Stone 4




We used a drill and a a mortar mixer in a 5 gallon bucket.

Stepping Stone 5 After making the concrete, pour into disposable aluminum pie tins and smooth with a putty knife, spatula or any flat object. Stepping Stone 6 Let the concrete set up enough until it will hold an imprint.

Then decorate with handprint, footprint, marbles, stones, have the kids write their names with a craft stick; whatever your heart desires! Stepping Stone 7




Allow to sit overnight at room temperature. And voila! Stepping Stone 8 They pop right out without any problem or hitch at all as along as they are dried completely through.  Stepping Stone 9

In humid or cold environments, let them dry as long as needed before removing them from the tin.Stepping Stone 10 These stepping stones can be placed outside in the garden or where ever you desire because they are made out of cement it can withstand the weather. Mom’s, dad’s, grandparents, friend’s, anyone appreciate receiving one of these and the kids will have a blast making them!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today




Freezer Jam

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

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Freezer Jam

Best Easy No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

Have you ever wondered how to make strawberry freezer jam?

Well, I have taught so many people how to make freezer jam that I’ve lost count now, and I can teach you too!

This type of  homemade Freezer Strawberry Jam is so delicious because it uses fresh fruit; making the taste absolutely phenomenal. 

Seriously,  there’s no comparison to the purchased type. As you spoon or slather on the taste of summer strawberries, you’ll think of relaxing sunshine and unwind while you enjoy, 

It’s best to make this recipe when the strawberries are peak freshness, in season and inexpensive and economical. 

I like to store the prepared jam in small individual freezer bags so I have it available anytime of the year. The containers and baggies I double protect by placing them in a larger bag, before storing in the freezer.

Here’s a nifty trick:  I keep a shoe box in my freezer where I place the freezer jam filled baggies which prevents them from sliding around and getting lost in the shuffle of any other food in the freezer. It also makes them easy to find and rotate

Another idea, is to make up batches of the easy no cook strawberry freezer jam, pour it into small containers with tight fitting lids, and freeze it (as directed on the package) to give as gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays — or just because. Click HERE for the free labels I had made just for you!

This delicious Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam would be so yummy on my moist homemade CornBread or for a special treat on the No Sour Dough Start Artisan Bread , now that would be amazing! Let’s make jam!!!




No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam

Ingredients:

1 box of pectin. 

2 quarts of strawberries *disclaimer:  If any of the berries look like you will have to trim off spots, or areas that are not ripe, buy a bit more.  If you have extra berries….nummy, you get to eat them!  (check on the box/instructions of pectin for amount to be sure)

4 cups of white sugar (again, check the box/instructions of the pectin)

Containers with tight fitting lids  (disposable or even glass jam jars would make darling gifts) that hold 1/2 cup to 2 cups / zip lock freezer baggies. 




Directions:

Wash and dry the containers you have chosen; not necessary with new freezer baggies. Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

est Easy No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam

Cut the strawberries into large chunks, if you like some texture to your jam. 

 

If you like a smooth jam, simply chop the berries really small.

Now, with the chunked berries, mash them a little with a potato mashers IF you like little bits of fruit in your jam.

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

Best Easy No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam




In a separate bowl measure the exact amount of prepared fruit as called for in the recipe – don’t be tempted to add or decrease.

In another bowl measure the exact amount of sugar no less or no more – the exact amount called for.

This step prevents mistakes!

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

Best Easy No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam

Stir the sugar into the prepared fruit, mix it well and let it stand for 10 minutes stirring frequently – no cheating here!   

Pectin, which is what causes the jam to set up, is in the box along with the instructions.

Take out the packet and pour it into a small saucepan adding in the required amount of water (which you will find on the instruction sheet in the box). 

The mixture will start out lumpy, but keep stirring until it comes to a boil on high heat.Easy Strawberry Freezer JamStir CONSTANTLY!!!  It burns easily and you don’t want to waste it. 

Boil, still stirring for 1 (ONE) full minute. 

Remove the pan from the heat and stir the pectin mixture into the fruit.

Stir constantly until the sugar is COMPLETELY DISSOLVED and no longer grainy, about 5 minutes.  

This is very important or your jam will ‘sugar’ and be grainy, very distasteful to eat.




Notice my little trick of lining a measuring cup with the baggie so I can fill it easily,

Pretty snazzy, right!

Fill whatever containers you desire. 

Disposable, baggies, glass… Make sure to date and label them. 

IMPORTANT STEP:  You must let the jam, in the baggies or containers sit at room temperature for 24 (count ’em 24) hours

This allows time for the sugar to completely dissolve and the pectin to do its work.

  • AFTER 24 hours, the jam is ready to eat, put in the freezer and take to someone who could use a little happiness.
  • Note:  When the jam is in the freezer, it never completely sets up hard because of the sugar content, so don’t worry when it’s not solid.
  • When taking the jam out of the freezer, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerated jam will last up to 3 weeks and in the freezer for 1 year.
  • This jam is amazing in homemade shakes, on waffles or pancakes (click HERE for my recipe) on toast, you name it!

 

TAGS & LABELS

I hope you enjoy these labels or tags I had created just for you to use with your Freezer Strawberry Jam.  You will find them HERE


You can easily gift this Freezer Strawberry Jam in a basket with biscuits, such as these my very favorite ones that stay tender and moist.  They are so easy to make and you can find them in my Cookbook, Carrie’s Cooking For Keeps, which is HERE and HERE

Be creative when thinking about what to put your jam in. Jars from the Dollar Store make adorable containers for this Homemade Freezer Strawberry Jam.

Baked frozen roll dough, a filled cute jar with an attached label you can get HERE would make anyone feel extra to receive your delicious homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam. 

Spread the sweetness and make someone’s day better as you gift a bit of your yummy, easy to make homemade Freezer Strawberry Jam. 

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018




Kids Crafts gifts for Mom

5 Kid Craft Mother’s Day Gifts

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Kids Crafts gifts for Mom

Kid Craft Gifts

Need a quick Mother’s Day gift for the kiddos to make for mom, grandma, aunt – any wonderful lady in their life!      Here are FIVE unique, useful and easy ideas.




 #1 – Personalized Hot Pad & Spatula
Supplies:
Hot Pads Sharpie Markers Spatulas with wooden handlesKids Craft 1
Directions:

Have the kids color or write, depending on ability, on the hot pad and handle of the spatulaKids Craft 2


#2 – Magnets
Supplies: I used Staples Inkjet Gloss White Magnet Sheets   Directions: Get your favorite selfies, family pictures or fun pics. Load onto your computer and print them out on the magnet sheet.Magnet Picture

Cut them out and presto – personalized magnets to hang on the fridge, in the office or anywhere metal Extra pieces trimmed off the photos can be drawn on, or a special message written,  for a personalized gift.
DIY Magnets 1
#3  – Foam Coozy
These would be terrific as a pencil holder, a flower pot (it has a small hole in the bottom which would allow water to drain) or filled with mom’s favorite candy.  Supplies: Foam coozy holders Foam stickers Items to fill coozy  
Directions:

Have kids decorate foam cozy as desired.Foam Coozy


#4 – Chip Clips
 Wanbi Tape Clothes Pins Mod Podge & foam brush, optional

Chip clip

Directions:
Have kids (help if young) center the wasabi tape on the paperclip and press down, tucking under on ends. Do this on both sides of the clothes pin. If desired, have child (or help if needed ) cover the wasabi tape covered clothes pin with mod podge which will help it last longer and keep it nice.  Also, the bit that is folded over the sides

For the gift attach to mom’s favorite chip or treatKids Craft 3

#5   Sugar Scrub
You may need to help the young kids with this awesome project  Click Here for instructions
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Copyright Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

A candy lei to wear and give at Halloween

Halloween Candy Lei

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A candy lei to wear and give at Halloween

Lei made from candy, netting and in Halloween colors

This Halloween Candy Lei is the perfect SWEET gift for anyone of any age!

It’s difficult to find projects that are inexpensive for teens and that they will actually like, and want.  But this Halloween Candy Lei fits perfectly!  Teens will have fun making these for them self, or for their friends, or have them make these at a party! Put out candy that will fit in the netting (as described below) and let them choose the kind they want to put in their lei.  To keep your costs down, you can have popcorn or other snack food for them to munch on while they make their lei and kindly limit the candy count to whatever your budget will accommodate for each person. 

It’s a terrific treat for a parent to give to your kids.

The Halloween Candy Lei is an especially great gift for a grandparent to make and even send in the mail.  See my post Did You Know You Can Send THAT In The Mail for fun ways to mail it off! 

The Halloween Candy Lei is so EASY, QUICK and SIMPLE  with no tricks involved, only TREATS:)




 

HALLOWEEN CANDY LEI

Supplies:

Click on the name/title to go right to the item for easy shopping

This Halloween 10″ mesh ribbon/tulle would work well for mini candy bars and small size candy  *personally, I prefer to use this size just to be safe.  You can always put 2 pieces of small candy in it if it looks like it needs it. 

This regular 6″ Halloween tulle netting  works  for very small/mini sized candy

Curling ribbon in your choice of color

Any mini and small candy, it just needs to fit in the tulle netting you choose

 

Directions:

Place candy in center of tulle.

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Take one side of the tuelle of the candy.Wrap the other side of the tuelle over the candy.Tie curling ribbon close to the candy to hold in securely so it won’t fall out. 

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Option: tie candy into the ribbon if it it too large to hold securely.Curl the ribbon.

Tie the ends of the tuelle together in a square knot to form a lei.

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Another option is to loop one end and have it more of a hanging type of candy holder as shown below.

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Peep Pops for Easter

Easy Easter Peep Pops

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Easter treat made from colored marshmallow peep pops

Easy Easter Peep Pops

My friend Dorthy is sharing with us her simple, NO COOK Easter treat! 

These Easter Peep Pops On A Stick are great gifts for kids and teens to make for their friends, I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t love one of these.  Simply string colorful Chick Peeps on skewers, put in a cellophane bag, tie and there you have a fabulous inexpensive treat for all ages to enjoy!

They come together to quickly, are a colorful sweet treat, can be made ahead, then delivered to friends, family, coworkers or best yet sent in the mail (see my post HERE for fun tips on this),




Easy Easter Peep Pops

Supplies:

Packages of different colored Peep Chicks HERE

Bamboo skewers HERE

5 X 11 cellophane bags HERE

Curling Ribbon for tying up bags HERE

Plastic disposable tablecloth (opt but worth it) HEREPeep Pops




Directions:

Each package of peeps chicks has four chicks that have good ends.

When you separate the chicks it will leave white marshmallow edges.

Use the good edges for the top and the bottom of each pop and put the ones with white edges in the middle.

You will need to plan a little bit to make each one come out with two good ends and all five colors.

Peep PopsSeparate the peeps from each other and place in groups of five (one of each color) making sure each group has two Peeps with good ends on the opposite side.

Line up all the peeps so that each POP will have BOTH ends of the POP has a peep with only one white sticky side; which will face inward.Peep PopsSlide the Peep chicks on to the bamboo skewer making sure the good edges show (not the white marshmallow edges) on the top and bottom.

Make sure the skewer doesn’t stick out past the last chick.  After a few pops you will be able to gauge how far to push the chicks on.Peep PopsLine them up nicely like this!Peep Pops



Place the Peep Pop into the cellophane bag Peep PopAnd tie with one ribbon.Peep PopTie remaining ribbons onto the first one.Peep PopsTo add dimension and more interest, take a few of the ribbons and cut a slit with scissors.Peep Pop Pull the ribbon in half to the knot.Peep PopSee how fabulous!Peep Pops



Easter treat made from colored marshmallow peep pops

Easy Easter Peep Pops

Make a basket of Peep Pops for a gift or treats to take home on Easter!

Thank you again Dorthy for sharing with us your creation and for spending time with me to make these and allow me to take pictures!  You’re the BEST!

Copyright,  Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Really fun and cute card with the front decorated with a bunny face. The face is made from the child's hand-print. Then embellished with wiggly eyes, markers and cotton ball to make it come alive. A clear cellophane bag holds chocolate dipped pretzel rods that have been rolled in sprinkles.

Easy Kids Easter Craft

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Easy Kids Easter Craft

Easy Kids Easter Craft

Easy Kids Easter Craft

 

This Easy Kids Easter Craft is a wonderful way to help your children remember others and not just what they are getting from the Easter Bunny.

What makes this Bunny Card so sweet and extraordinary, is that it captures a moment in time as the Bunny’s face is made from your child’s hand print. You can help them write, or they can draw a picture, to a loved one, or a person who could use a little special attention.  It will surely brighten everyone’s day.

The pretzel rods are a scrumptious treat!  

The pretzels can be covered in white, milk or dark chocolate, then in a so many options of toppings it would be hard to stop.  Your family, coworkers, neighbors, everyone will want to receive these treats….without, or without, a Bunny note:)




Easy Kids Easter Craft

 Chocolate and Sprinkle Covered Pretzels

 Bunny Handprint Card

Supplies:

Pretzel Rods  HERE

Chocolate Buttons  DARK HERE     WHITE HERE     MILK HERE

Sprinkles    HERE

Cellophane Bags    HERE

Curling Ribbon       HERE

Waxed paper or parchment      HERE

Kid’s Washable Paint          HERE

White card stock      HERE

Wiggle Eyes      HERE

Pom Poms for nose     HERE

A Black Sharpie to draw bunny face

Washable markers, crayons or whatever you prefer for the kids to write or draw inside the card with.




Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Sprinkles

Directions:

Give each child a plate of sprinkles.

In a microwavable bowl, pour in as many of the chocolate buttons as desired.

Kids Homemade Easter Candy and Card

Easy Kids Easter Craft

Melt for 30 seconds and stir.Continue this process of heating in small increments and stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Kids Homemade Easter Candy and Card

Easy Kids Easter Craft

Use caution not to overheat and burn the chocolate.You or the child/teen dip the pretzel into the melted chocolate.  

Kids Homemade Easter Candy and Card

Easy Kids Easter Craft

Scrape of slightly on all sides. (You can see we are using small pretzel rods as well as long ones too!)Let the kids/teens roll their coated pretzel in candy sprinkles.  

Kids Homemade Easter Candy and Card

Easy Kids Easter Craft

You could also use finely chopped nuts, other types of sprinkles, heath candy bits, so many options would be mighty tasty here!


Lay the coated rods onto the waxed paper or parchment; which I prefer actually, until the chocolate is set.

Place set pretzels in the cellophane bags, and tie up with the ribbon, or ribbons if you want to get extra creative.

Easy Kids Easter Craft

Easy Kids Easter Craft

A few must be taste tested first, of course – quality control you know:)

 

Now for the Easy Kids Craft Easter Card

 

Paint one hand of a child with the washable paint -painting the two middle fingers for small hands and the pointer and pinkie finger like they are making a ‘hang ten’ sign for the bunny ears of an older kid. 

This is because their hand would take up too much room on the card if fully extendedKids Homemade Easter Candy and Card

Easy Kids Easter Craft

For small children help them press down their hand and fingers to create the head and ears.Kids Homemade Easter Candy and Card

Easy Kids Easter Craft

When the paint is dry, attach the eyes. Easy Kids Easter Craft

Easy Kids Easter Craft

Use mini glue dots like these HERE. (love and have them on hand for so many uses)

To finish this treasured Kids Easter Craft , if the children can write, let them pen notes to loved ones or friends, or have them draw a picture if younger:)

This is a wonderful opportunity to  spend time as a family.  And to reach out and thinking of others….and not just what they are getting for Easter.

Attach the Easter Craft Bunny Card to a couple of the Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Sprinkles OR simply put it in the mail in an envelope.

Copyright, Recipe by Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Easter Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

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Easter Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods are so easy and quick you can make them with your family for a fun activity to get everyone involved. A great girls time, or friend get-together too.

These Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods are so versatile simply change the sprinkles for any holiday or just-because day for a yummy treat. 

Also try milk chocolate, dark chocolate or the white as shown here; it’s all scrumptious!

 


Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Supplies:

Pretzel Rods, long work best like these

White Chocolate or white chocolate chips

Sprinkles

Cellophane Bags 

Curling Ribbon

Waxed paper or Parchment Paper




Directions:

In a microwavable bowl, pour in as many of the chocolate buttons or chips as desired.

Easter Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Melt for 30 seconds and stir.Continue this process of heating in small increments and stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Easter Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Easter Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Use caution not to overheat and burn the chocolate.

Dip the pretzel into the melted chocolate.




Easter Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Scrape of slightly on all sides.Coat with the sprinkles over a piece of waxed paper.

Easter Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Easter Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Do this instead of rolling the coated pretzel in a bowl or plate of sprinkles.Using this method allows you to reuse the sprinkles and they will not be messed up in the chocolate.Lay the coated rods onto the waxed paper or parchment until chocolate is set.

Easter Pretzel Rods

Easter Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Place in the cellophane bags, tie with ribbon and make someone’s day better!Copyright, Recipe by Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Crafty Embellished Notebook

DYI Embellished Notebook

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Crafty Embellished Notebook

DIY Embellished Notebook

Dorthy is helping us again! This notebook would be a great present for any occasion, depending on the paper you choose. Make one for every holiday and season!  An inexpensive, easy craft for teens, girls-day-out activity, a wonderful birthday or Mother’s Day gift – so many uses for yourself, or as a gift!  Mix and match papers from scraps you have and add a fun patterned pencil to make it even more special. 


DIY Covered Notebook

The complete supply list and detailed instructions follow, however, here are some pictures for a tutorial to help you along making your own covered notebooks.DYI Embellished Notebook 1Cut out the paper pieces as directed.DYI Embellished Notebook 2Cut one piece of printed ribbon 6: long.DYI Embellished Notebook 3Cut the remaining length into 4″ long pieces.DYI Embellished Notebook 4


Take the 6×6″ piece of paper and lay it face down against the wire rings

Mark each hole with a pencil mark.DYI Embellished Notebook 5Draw a line 1/8″ from the top of the paper at the pencil marksDYI Embellished Notebook 6Using a small hole punch (not the regular size), punch holes at each pencil mark.

Make a small slit with scissors from the edge of the paper to the the hole you punched. Continue across the paper.DYI Embellished Notebook 7Using a glue stick glue the paper to the front of the notebook, making sure the holes match.  Glue around the edge of the entire piece of paper.DYI Embellished Notebook 8




Carefully put in place, matching the holes of the paper to the rings on the notebook.DYI Embellished Notebook 9Use a pencil to push the paper down between the rings. DYI Embellished Notebook 10

And from the inside also.DYI Embellished Notebook 11Glue the 3.5″ x 6″ paper to the bottom of the notebook.DYI Embellished Notebook 12


Glue the 6″ piece of ribbon over the seam between the papers DYI Embellished Notebook 13

Press down to secure.DYI Embellished Notebook 14Glue on embellishment.
DYI Embellished Notebook 15Fold a 4″ piece of ribbon in half DYI Embellished Notebook 16




Slide the ribbon over the ring DYI Embellished Notebook 17

Forming a knot by pulling through the middle,DYI Embellished Notebook 18

Pull tight.DYI Embellished Notebook 19Arrange the ribbons so there is a bit of each ribbon pattern all the way across the top.

It is very useful to use a toothpick DYI Embellished Notebook 20

And put a small dab of glue under the ribbon knot to ensure they stay in place.

DYI Embellished Notebook 21Now you have a terrific gift for really any occasion!DYI Embellished Notebook 22

The supply list and complete instructions follow.

Thank you Dorthy again for another great craft!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.