Photo Credit makeandtakes.comWhile I'm a little nervous about the logistics of summer vacation, I'm really looking forward to some of the fun projects we've lined up while they're on break (like making this cute "Yoda" finger puppet.)
One of those projects is DIY fruit leather. I'm not a big fan of packaged fruit skins/rollups because they are packed with sugar. But my kids keep asking for them. So guess what? We're going to make fruit leather at home, thanks to this neat DIY tutorial over at Make and Takes. The instructions call for apricot, but you can easily substitute other fruits. And as
I think kids would get a charge out of letting the sun "cook" the fruit spread into leather. And you don't need any fancy equipment to make the fruit leather. Along with your basic ingredients, a blender, cookie sheet and plastic wrap can do the trick.
If you try it out, let us know how it goes!
Camp Shine is a regular feature on Shine Parenting. At Camp Shine, you'll find tips, ideas, hacks, and activities to help your
Blog Posts by Charlene Prince Birkeland, Senior Editor
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Senior Editor | Parenting – Thu, May 21, 2009 8:12 PM EDT
Photo Credit makeandtakes.comWhile I'm a little nervous about the logistics of summer vacation, I'm really looking forward to some of the fun projects we've lined up while they're on break (like making this cute "Yoda" finger puppet.)Read More »from Camp Shine: Cooking with kids idea #1 -- DIY strawberry fruit leather
Rick Springfield, crafty goodness and topics that focus on the goodness of parenting. That pretty much sums up what I had the most fun writing about on Shine Parenting over the past year.Read More »from Posts I loved writing on Shine Parenting
My all-time favorite moments were all about spending time with my crush, Rick Springfield. He taught me how to play Jessie's Girl on the guitar and recently chatted with me about his new album of lullabies (part two is coming soon, I swear!). Also? I really dig talking to him about parenting and his experiences as a dad.
Other stories I love writing about: Itty bitty bites, crafty things for parents to do with their kids, and tips to help us all become better parents.
What posts do you love reading on Shine Parenting? What do you wish we'd write more about?
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Senior Editor | Work + Money – Tue, May 19, 2009 9:32 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesI feel like my kids' schools are getting me prepared for their impending summer vacation (in 17 days, but who's counting). The month of May has been filled with many half days of school, events and general last-month-of-school chaos. (Did I mention the 50 paper dinosaurs I need to cut out by June 5?)Read More »from How are you getting ready for your kids' summer vacation?
If it's any indication of what summer vacation will be like--while doing the working mom juggle--I kind of want to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers. For three months.
Yes, I'm a little scared of summer vacation this year. My kids will be in day camps for part of the summer, but there are other weeks when they will be home with me.
I know it will all come together. It always does. But it's the mapping it all out that sends me into a mini tailspin...and a quick recovery. Once my husband and I have it all on paper--the calendar and a rough map of our daily routine--I usually feel better. Especially if the planning occurs over a really good martini.
What about you? How are you
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Senior Editor | Work + Money – Tue, May 19, 2009 9:01 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesAn NBC affiliate in Philadelphia recently posed a challenge to five high school students: Could they give up text messaging, cell phones, iPods, computer time and video games for 10 days?Read More »from Parenting poll: Do you let your kids text message at the dinner table?
David Silver, one teen involved in the challenge, admitted that it wasn't as difficult as he thought it would be to give up his tech gadgets or online time. He studied more, did his homework, went to the gym, and--wait for it-- he talked to his friends and family members.
There are many parts of this NBC story that struck me, such as the sheer volume of text messages Silver received in month (14,000). Or how his mom finally got to meet some of his friends. Or worse, how sad it was that his mom felt she missed her son because of the time he spent texting.
But what bothered me most was the admission that he spent every night at the dinner table and texting his friends. (Ironically, when Silver was on his technology fast, it irked him when his sister was texting at the dinner table.)
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Senior Editor | Parenting – Mon, May 18, 2009 7:53 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesDo you remember the anticipation of getting your school yearbook? The second the book hits kids' hands, they usually plant themselves on one spot while they comb through every single page. Times ten.Read More »from Yearbook photos: Teach your kids not to get caught with their underwear down
There's always an embarrassing photo (or two) that manages to make its way into the yearbook. An "embarrassing" photo usually equates to nothing more than a silly expression or someone caught at a dance in some ridiculous pose. Because usually, a school administrator is supervising yearbook production and won't allow students to be humiliated in print.
So I'm left wondering if someone missed the photo of the junior class at Sickles High School in Citrus Park, Florida before the book went to press. Because I imagine that someone would have noticed the girl in the front row whose crotch was exposed.
The 16-year-old girl's mom told 10Connects.com that the girl didn't wear underwear on photo day because she didn't want "her panty lines to show." She also must have forgotten she wasn't
photo credit: charlene prince birkeland/crazedparent.orgThe second I saw this post over at Omnomicon with photos of an amazing rainbow cake, I knew I'd be trying it at home. It was just a matter of picking an occasion. I even wrote about it on Shine Parenting because I think it's one of those feats that will truly knock your kids' socks off when they see a slice. A Shine reader commented that it would make a cool Easter cake and, mira, that was all the inspiration I needed.
I followed the directions over at Omnomicon to the letter with only one exception: I did not use soda in my cake mix (side note: I used Duncan Hines white cake mix).
Should you want to try to make the Rainbow Cake, let my lessons learned be your tips:
1. The cake: You're using one box of cake mix for each layer. After you're done baking, pick the layer that isn't as pretty for the bottom of your cake. You'll need to trim about 1.5 to 2 inches off the top of the cake to get it to a reasonable height for layering. Use a serrated knife to cut that layer after itRead More »from Dispatches from the test kitchen: Rainbow cake
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Senior Editor | Work + Money – Fri, May 15, 2009 7:59 PM EDT
photo credit: howaboutorange.blogspot.comI can't exactly pinpoint when the crafty bug bit me. Now that I'm certifiably craft-obsessed, I spend my week thinking about all the things I can make for our house or as gifts for others.Read More »from Crafty weekend project: DIY key holder for those of us who lose our keys (often)
Right now, I'm focused on refinishing a desk from the 60s for my office. But when that's done? I will turn my attention to keys. That is, creating a sweet little place to hang my keys in the kitchen. Because losing your keys four times a day? It's not cool.
This DIY key holder project from Jessica at How About Orange seems like a perfect place to begin. If you can get your local hardware store or lumber supply yard to cut the 4"wide pine board to size, the hard work is done. The rest of the project involves some quick sanding, painting and the placement of fun paper.* Dig it.
*Check out your local scrapbook supply store for the best selection of decorative paper. If you want to buy paper online, my current favorite is stationery from the ladies of Red Velvet Art.
Okay, so make me feel better: How
When I write about parenting issues, I never expect Shine readers to hold back on comments. Parenting brings out emotions, discussions of right and wrong, and serious maternal (and paternal) instinct. We internalize and reach deep to address issues that are important to us.
And then we get fired up.
So do you know what makes me giggle the most? When I see the following sentiment appear in comments: "I am so over this [insert topic]. But [insert diatribe about topic]. Okay, I'm done now. I will not comment about this again."
Um, until the next time this topic appears on Shine Parenting.
Because no matter how many times certain topics show up on Shine Parenting, you still want to talk about them. Even when you say you don't!
Which stories/topics keep you coming back for more?
- Octupulet Gate. Yes, you love to hate on Nadya Suleman. Why? As Shine reader, Sandy, said when Suleman fired her nurses, "I'm so sick of her and her antics, but I can't help but follow the story."
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Senior Editor | Parenting – Thu, May 14, 2009 7:58 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesConfession: When I was a tween, I used to beg my mom to take me to city hall so I could change my name. "Why," I would ask, "whhhhhyyy did you give me such a bad name? No one has my name! It is so uncool!"Read More »from Parenting poll: Did you hate your name when you were a kid?
That's right. I was upset because my name was not Jennifer, Melissa, or Stephanie (you know, some of the more popular names of girls born in 1972). I hated it when people called me "Charlie" or when our neighborhood friends called me "Charytín," after a very popular Latin actress and singer.
My name "dwindled from popularity" before I was even born and is considered "uncommon." But now, I appreciate my parents giving me the name they chose. I dig the many nicknames, most especially the Latin-flavored ones. And yes, I also feel bad for giving my folks so much grief back then.
I know. I was a little punky. But guess what? It turns out I'm not the only one. Over the weekend, my mother-in-law spilled the beans that she wanted a different name when she was little.
And dear Shine
I've been writing about parenting and family "stuff" for eight years (basically, since the moment I found out I was pregnant). And while I love the writing aspect of being an editor/reporter/blogger/whatever, one of the best parts of my gig is reading posts (and comments) written by the Shine community. Do you know how much you readers make me laugh? Or put me in a deep contemplative spell? Or cause me to scratch my head in confusion? It happens on a daily basis.
Some readers have really established themselves on Shine Parenting. And as we celebrate Shine's one-year anniversary, I wanted to tell all of you how much I appreciate that you share your stories on Shine.
I also wanted to point you to two ladies who blog on Shine. I love their tales of the good, the bad, and the ultimate chaos of parenting. I learn from their tips and advice. And ultimately, they always remind me what a joy it is to be a parent.
- Greenest Mommy. If you are looking for creative ways to help your family