I confessed in our Pinterest chat last week that I had never actually followed through on any of my pins: all those delicious recipes and adorable crafts and fabulous outfits are elaborate fantasies of the gorgeous, perfect mom I am in my mind. (The mom I am in real life, in my kitchen, is wearing grungy pajamas and drinking coffee from a pint glass. This is my second pint of coffee. I have been out of bed for approximately 20 minutes.)
So here are my attempts to baby step from Pinterest fantasy to reality. I completed, with some degree of success, 3 recipes and a craft project.
Project 1: Key West Grilled Chicken
I forgot to take pictures because I was so hungry, and I substituted tofu for chicken, lime juice from a bottle for fresh limes, garlic powder for chopped garlic, and I sautéed the marinated strips of tofu in a skillet. But I’m still calling it a Pinterest success story! I ate the resulting yummy tofu on a salad of mixed greens from a big plastic tub. Grapes, mango, cherry tomatoes, poppy seed dressing. Yum. I will make this again.
Project 2: Fro Yo Droplets
Squeeze some yogurt out of a Ziplock bag onto a cookie sheet. Freeze it. Put the cute little frozen drops in a bowl and tell your kids that it’s a “Frozen Dot Appetizer.” Even the kid who refuses to eat yogurt ate mountains of Frozen Dots. They are oddly delicious.
Pro Tip: They melt quickly. Don’t put a pile of them on your baby’s high chair tray for her to eat/play with unless it’s bath night.
Project 3: Funfetti Cookies
Last year I stayed up all night making seahorse cookies for D’s 3 year old preschool class, and then the dog ate them off the table, and then I made seahorse finger Jello, and then I resolved to simplify this whole birthday treat business the next time around.
The girls and I do quite a bit of baking together, and they were very excited to get to use SO MANY SPRINKLES MAMA! IT’S A SPRINKLE PARTY IN OUR BOWL!
Put on aprons, dump in a box of cake mix, crack a couple eggs, stir, add an unholy amount of sprinkles, bake. Awesome. Easy, fun, and Lucy thought the dough was so delicious she sneaked back in to the kitchen to eat some more while I was distracted looking for a white plate to arrange the cookies on so I could photograph them.
Pro tip: The recipe said bake at 350 for 10 minutes, which left the first round of cookies burnt to a sprinkly crisp.
I turned the oven down to 325 and baked them for 7 minutes. Next time, I would refrigerate the dough.
The recipe made about 3 dozen, plus the burned dozen I threw away, plus the dough Lucy ate. D’s preschool class found them to be so delicious that not a single kid threw their cookie away instead of eating it: the gold standard of snack time.
Project 4: Footprint Butterfly
If you want a surefire way to keep my kids happy, give them some art supplies. Markers, crayons, stickers, glue stick, scissors, paper? They can go for hours. Most of what they produce is not museum quality, but they are super proud of it. T put up an art clothesline in our hallway, and I rotate new art and school papers through every couple of days.
Footprint butterflies are not that kind of art.
I showed them the picture on the iPad and explained the process. Since it was an unseasonably gorgeous day and the baby was napping, we went outside.
They decided they wanted pink butterflies, and helped me squeeze the paint bottles and mix the paint. I dipped one foot at a time in paint, helped them position it on the paper, carried them a couple yards to a bowl of water (if it spilled, I didn’t want the partially completed art to be flooded), and washed between their toes. It took two tries to get Lucy’s footprints on the paper without huge smears of paint near her heels.
When Margeaux woke up, I put her in her high chair, coated her feet in paint, and stuck them to the paper. She shrieked in protest and smeared paint all over my shirt.
I did 4 loads of laundry while the paint dried, then we got out the glitter glue. I helped them make the butterfly bodies and heads; D did her own antennae.
Overall: not time intensive, but messy, and not a lot of opportunity for creativity or interpretation by the kids making them. But the end result will be adorable framed on their bedroom wall (or would be a fantastic gift for a grandma on Mother’s Day), and will be worth holding on to long after most of the hallway art is tossed into the recycle bin. And the paint washed out of my shirt with just a little squirt of dish soap.
So: 4 Pinterest success stories! Maybe next week I’ll try to assemble one of the stylish outfits I’ve pinned for less than $20 at the Goodwill.