habitatathome, howto, crafts, diy, kids

Beautify Your Potluck Salad

An easy example of a gorgeous spring salad.

This salad is a colorful and elegant way to capitalize on what the spring season provides us.  By incorporating different textures and colors, I quickly managed create thing of beauty with very little work at all.  This is a dish very much worth repeating, which effortlessly impresses!  

Spring mix lettuce
Frozen peas, thawed
String beans, roasted
Radishes, raw and sliced
Thyme flowers
Chive flowers
Feta Cheese

1 part freshly squeezed lemon
2 parts olive oil
Salt & pepper

Beginners Tips on Maximizing Your Vegetable Garden

Gardening is full of many challenges and takes quite a bit of trial and error.   I certainly have had my fair share in just my beginning years of gardening.  This year, I was determined to get better food production out of my small space and I want to share with you what I've learned.  My garden is in Pennsylvania, Zone 7.

3D Matisse with Kids

This project was a lot of fun!  I was sitting down with my kids to practice some simple Matisse inspired shapes, as it's a good project for scissor skills and thinking outside the box creatively.  When I started, my first shape happened to pop out a little.  Then I thought, this is great!  Let's make the whole thing 3D! It was surprisingly easy.

Easy Polymer Clay Jewelry

It's amazing how simple it was to make these unique pieces of jewelry using polymer clay.  Polymer clay is very easy to work with, as it is malleable and dries in your own home oven.  It is so satisfying to be able to produce something so beautiful, without needing a kiln!  

Weekly Breakdown for Summer

In the summer, I am with my children 24/7 as the stay-at-home parent, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.  As we know, camp is very expensive.  But the kids are still little and you need something to do.  So to save money, let's bring elements of camp to the home.  

Despite our best efforts, we know kids may throw us some push back on what we think we have planned on a daily basis.  ... Or, a ton of push-back!  So, let's just know that may happen and not be surprised about it.  It is because of this, that I felt topics being week-by-week, allowed for some more flexibility.  If they don't want to do the project today, well then maybe tomorrow.  

Nothing is ever rigid with kids, but having a plan can help to ease your own mind if nothing else.   Each week I've developed here, has a topic with little field trips set, projects to do and academic skills woven in to suit the theme.  Some weeks are more intensive and some lean more toward self-guided activity to break things up.  My hope is that if you too, get anxious about summer, this might help jog the mind for ideas to do with your own family.  

20 Easy April Fools Day Ideas

April Fools Day.  Who can think of anything funny enough, honestly?  We mull it over for five minutes and give up on the concept.  There are far more pressing matters to worry about.  Our busy lives, filled with the usual rat race of things to do.  We've gotten so speedy now, that experts are telling us to be more mindful.   Slow down and smell the roses, they say.  Well, I will say that drumming up a good prank, carefully orchestrating it, then patiently waiting for the demise of our victim..... might just be the mindful moment we've been looking for.   It's a good spin anyway. ; )

Are we going to let a nationally-approved day to mess with our families, go right by us?  No! This is a day where your name being bellowed through the house with furious anger, is a zealous victory!  Our inner little demons have been given a pass to play, with the simple words "Happy April Fools Day".  Let's use it!  (What happens when she needs to itch that nose?!).

A take away from the Japanese Breakfast

Typically, in Japan, a breakfast might consist of an egg over rice, vegetables, a broth soup and perhaps some fish.  Warm, wonderful and full of nutrients.  This is a quicker take on that concept.  It just takes minutes to wilt down a few dark greens, fry some mushrooms and poach an egg.  This breakfast is light and yet fills you with a great energy to start your day.  

A fresh take on the Bibimbap

Here, I have a fresh take on the traditional Bibimbap.  The traditional Bibimbap is a Korean dish, typically served with rice, vegetables, chili pepper or soybean paste and a raw egg or sliced meat on top.  The hot dish is mixed together thoroughly before eating.  It is delicious!  I have had it at restaurants, and it is quite a wonderful indulgence. 

Making it at home, I decided to take a slightly lighter approach to the dish.  Aside from leaving out egg and meat, one of the bigger fresh factors was leaving the zucchini raw to really add an extra brightness and texture.  It was delicious and felt very clean and healthy.  For some color interest, I used purple cauliflower.  I would suggest carrot too.  

Broccoli leaf, Pear and Lentil Salad

My first time vegetable gardening was a summer of much learning.  Plenty of misses, but a few surprises too!  The growing season is now over ... or so I thought.  Just when it seemed the broccoli didn't work out, it is now displaying huge plants with very impressive leaves; in November!  We have been nibbling away at the broccoli heads as they come in, but I just had to try those leaves as well.  It turns out, they taste great!  How very underrated they are.  A quick sauté, and not tough at all.  Just right, actually.  Better, I dare say, than the ever so popular kale.  Yes, it's true.  It's not quite as bitter as kale.  Why this isn't all over the supermarket shelves, I don't know.  But, certainly use them if you grow them!!! 

 broccoli leaf, pear and lentil salad