candy corn suckers

More seasonal sweets today! The options are absolutely innumerable with this sucker recipe, the colors and candies you can combine would work for any holiday or celebration! For today’s batch, nothing seems more Fall appropriate than candy corn and  that natural amber hue. Handling hot sugar is not recommended with your tiny ones nearby, but adding the candies at the end is more than enough fun for them!

Nothing provides that sweet and rare satisfied silence from kids like a sucker.

Here’s the recipe (taken from Martha Stewart Living Magazine)

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
10 drops orange food coloring
8 drops pure orange oil
10 lollipop sticks
Assorted candies, for decorating

Directions

Prepare an ice-water bath and line baking sheets with Silpats (if you don’t have Silpats you can coat baking sheets with vegetable oil.) Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan, and place over medium-high heat. Stir continuously to dissolve sugar. When the syrup comes to a boil, stop stirring and clip on a candy thermometer. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture turns golden and reads 300-310 degrees Farenheit. Let it cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally wash the sides of the pan using a clean brush dipped in cold water to prevent crystals from forming.

Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the syrup to a 2-cup measuring device (make sure it’s heat proof!) Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir in the food coloring and orange oil until completely combined.

Make sure you’re absolutely ready for the next step because you’ll need to move fast. Pour ten 3-inch circles of syrup onto prepared baking sheets. Press in lollipop sticks. Using a toothpick tap the candies into the mixture and then let them harden and cool completely.

 

costume parade party

There’s no better way to catch a glimpse of your favorite kiddos in their costumes than by letting them parade around the yard with the Ghostbusters theme blaring. So this week we did just that. The name of this game was to keep it as low-key as possible so we could really enjoy their crazy costumed antics and the company of friends, too.

Halloween Party

Halloween Party Kids

Halloween Party Kids

After they paraded the yard, we handed out awards for their costumes. It was funny to get  input from their parents, moms always know exactly what to say to make their kids beam with pride. For Goldie being awarded “Fashion Cat” put her over the moon.

Costume Parade Awards

How lucky were we to spend the afternoon with superheroes, firefighters, ninjas, cupcakes, dragons, Dorothy, Jasmine, and a couple tough guys?

Costume Parade

Party Details

Since this was a post nap, pre-dinner soiree, we let them indulge in a one or two sweets. We suggest putting the treat table a bit higher up than 3 feet, or one or two sweets will quickly escalate.

Costume Parade Party Food

Orange Soda

And of course, if you’re in the market for a Costume Award, feel free to download ours below.

solly baby giveaway [closed]

Congratulations to Jessica L for winning this giveaway! It is now CLOSED, but please visit Solly Baby for more!

Solly Baby

One of our favorite things about the blog world is the ability to share favorite things, best practices, and little tips and tricks mothers use. There are a million ways to do just about anything when it comes to parenting, but sometimes it’s nice to hear what’s working for everyone else.

We have our own list of favorites and we are excited to share them with you! We hope you will love the features as much as we do.

We are huge fans of Solly Baby wraps, and the owner/designer, Elle.  Baby wearing is comfortable, warm and safe for the baby, and all about convenience and closeness for the parent, and with the multiple point support, you can comfortably wear it for hours. Some might look at it and think it’s too complex, but after a few tries it truly becomes second nature. Elle timed herself once and had it down in eleven seconds! All three of us have used Solly Baby wraps, and especially after having that second baby it becomes a real life saver! Baby Wearing Baby Wearing

Because we love Solly Baby so much, we teamed up with Elle to giveaway a wrap of your choice to a lucky reader! The colors and patterns are so amazing, we’re sure it will be hard to choose just one.

Here’s a few ways to enter:

1. Visit the Solly Baby shop and tell us in a comment which one you’d pick.

2. Like Small Fry Blog and Solly Baby on Facebook.

3. Link us in a new blog, Facebook post, or tweet.

4. Instagram a motherhood related picture of your choice and tag @smallfryblog.

If you know someone who would love it, you can enter on their behalf as well.

Leave a comment for each entry and we’ll pick at random, announce and contact the winner one week from today! (October 11th at 5:00 am MST.)

 

stamped pants

Printed pants have been popping up all over the place for several months now, and Emily had great success making a polka-dotted pair for herself early this Spring. It only took that long since to realize the same concept could be done for kids. Here’s how she did it:

There are endless options for stamping, we’ve seen the pencil eraser for a simple polka-dot pattern, but if you want to go more unique you can try your luck at a free-hand stamp.

Using a simple Pink Pearl eraser and an Exacto knife, Emily marked a chevron shape and then cut out the rubber around it leaving a raised pattern. Stamping one and then another directly underneath it, it creates a super cool military vibe.  If free-hand stamps aren’t your thing, she also made a darling pair for our little girlfriend Tess (pictured center) using one of her boys’ triangle blocks. All you’ll need is a piece of clothing to stamp, and an acrylic or fabric paint in your preferred color choice, and you’re good to go!

Emily’s tips: make sure your stamp’s edges (and your fingers, too) are clean before every stamp application. Excess paint will be the death of your project otherwise, but quickly saturating the unwanted paint in water and wiping it away should do the trick.

mini pumpkin pie

Do we all agree that everything tastes better in miniature form? It’s true. Not only that, but our kids get so excited about a dish a little more their size. That’s why we’re excited about taking a favorite fall treat, the classic pumpkin pie, and make it mini.

Jenna is the chef around here and she’s normally a made-from-scratch kind of girl, but when it comes to a quick & tasty activity for her kids in the afternoon, she’ll take shortcuts like the rest of us! Cooking with small kids has to be minimal prep and clean up to be enjoyable.

Here’s what Jenna did:

1. Purchase a mini 4 oz canning jar like this.

2. Buy Pillsbury pre-made pie dough in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

3. Make the pie filling from the back of the Libby’s can.

4. Roll out the dough and with the lid from the mason jar cut out the circular pie crust.

5. Place dough in the bottom of jar.

6. Pour filling in to jar, I like to keep just a little bit of space at the top.

7. Bake as instructed on Libby’s can, let cool & top with cream.

ENJOY!

chalkboard pumpkins

Kids just seem to make every holiday more fun, don’t they? We’ve been having a blast getting into the Halloween spirit and here’s an improvement on a classic activity.

Chalkboard Pumpkin

We are loving these chalkboard pumpkins for so many reasons: but first, hardly any mess! You can paint the pumpkins ahead of time and then let your kids chalk up, erase, and repeat all month long. With no cuts being made to the pumpkin, you don’t have to worry about the shrivel-effect and your painted pumpkins will last you until Christmas if needs be.

Chalkboard Pumpkins for Kids

While we had plans to show you an expertly drawn chalk jack-o-lantern face, these kids were so excited to get their hands on them that we just let the magic happen. Who knew we had neo-impressionistic geniuses in the Small Fry family? 😉

Chalkboard Paint Pumpkin

meet a small fry: ollie

Small Fry InterviewImages by Jessica Peterson Photo

Our little friend Oliver is absolutely one of a kind. He has the most zesty personality and unrelenting imagination. Everyone loves Ollie and even just being in the same room with him can cheer you up. In the matter of a day Ollie has been five different super heroes, animals, villains, and characters. He is loving and caring and so full of life. We knew for our first Small Fry interview Ollie had to be the one.

What is your name?

I’m Ollie

How old are you?

4

Who is your mom?

Lindsay

What does your mom do?

I can’t decide. Makes hot dogs for me?

Who is your dad?

Rob. Pffffff.

What does your dad do?

He works at work.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A fireman.

What is your favorite food?

Oh! I know! chicken noodle soup!

What food do you not like?
Bugs.

What is your favorite animal?

Tigers. I mean elephants, ya elephants. I like tigers and elephants.

Where do you want to live when you grow up?

The firestation.

Who do you want to marry?

Madeline. Not Berkley – she farts too much!

What does dad say?

Don’t touch his stuff.

What does mom say?

I love you.

What do mom and dad do after you go to bed?

Watch shows. Like videos….

What is your favorite song?

Beat it. (Michael Jackson.) He’s dead- I just like his songs.

What is your favorite movie?

Tom and Jerry. I hate Peppa Pig now. I’m all about animals.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

Pizza, at Costco- and smoothies! (Turns to mom) Let’s make smoothies!

What is your favorite book?

Little Pea (Amy Krouse Rosenthal)

Where did Rune (Ollie’s brother) come from?

To mom: Your belly. He POPPED OUT OF YOUR BELLY!!

What would you buy with a million dollars?

Uh… a dinosaur.

What do you dream about?

Bugs.

What are you scared of?

Monsters! I’m not scared of sharks. I’m scared of monsters.

Why is the sky blue?

Because of the water, the water is blue, and that’s what Heavenly Father wanted it to be. He hates yellow.

How would the world be different if animals could talk?

It would be weird.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

I would be sneaky.
Guess what? I’m invisible right now! Look mom! I’m invisible!

What are 5 words that describe you?
Beach, I like you, I dont know.

What was a time that you felt lucky?
Uh, like I got a lucky quarter. I’m looking for my lucky quarter! Hey mom, watch me shoot this gun!

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?
Go to the beach.

If you could give a gift to every child in the world, what would it be?
A christmas present! like… a Halloween present. I would give girls a doll, boys a toy lion, and babies… baby toys!

What is your favorite place in the world?
Look at my dolphin mom! I drew a dophin. (And I guess we’re done here.)

 Imaginative Photo ShootAnd because we know that with every energetic child comes a worn out mother chasing closely behind, here’s what his mom Lindsay had to say about Oliver:

Being Ollie’s mom is one of the most daunting and exhilirating tasks ever given to me. His imagination is off the charts, and his energy runs a close second. From the moment he wakes up, until he goes to bed with a spear in hand, and remnants of war paint on his cheeks, he is in character. When Ollie was born, Rob and I had a vision of a little boy that played in the dirt, rode a skateboard, and spent every waking moment doing “boy stuff.” Although he does all of those things, he would prefer a cardboard box, a rope, and some dress-ups. I worry daily that he will be made fun of by other kids, or that the other moms at Costco will judge me for my son being shoe-less in the cart with a Peter Pan hat and four swords shoved into his cowboy belt, but I am quickly realizing, I don’t care! I am so blessed and lucky to be his mother, and I will do whatever it takes to let Ollie be “Ollie.”

nature hunt

Fall is absolutely all around us this past week and we had to take the kids up in the mountains to see it all. Looking at leaves isn’t exactly thrilling for anyone pre-college years, so we put together an easy scavenger hunt to buy us some time to take it all in and give them something fun to do.

Nature WalkNature Walk BoysNature Scavenger HuntNature Scavenger Hunt

Was a bone on the hunt list? Nope. Isn’t it funny what kids fixate on? Anytime they found something small enough we’d tape it on with washi tape.

Exploring Nature with Kids

This is definitely geared towards a younger crowd, but it was a hit! They held on tight to their papers and ran around yelling “Let’s explore!”  Download your own below! Clip art Images obtained via clker.com

Also, you can see more images on our facebook page!

shoe upgrade

Here at Small Fry, we all have two boys each, isn’t that something? We’re not sure if girls are the same, but boys are so hard on their clothes. On top of that they grow like weeds, and we are replenishing their too small wardrobes monthly it seems. So when we find inexpensive staples, we like to stock up. But, of course three best friends with six boys between us, the boys are constantly matching. Embellishing these inexpensive finds is the perfect way to put a little individuality back into their wardrobes. Here’s how Emily did it:

Painted Shoes

Using painter’s tape, mark off your desired design. Make sure you press the tape into the creases and that it is adhering, duct tape might work well too! Using our favorite go-to, acrylic paint, and a sponge brush, dab the paint into the design. Depending on the saturation of the paint and the shoe’s material, you will probably need a few coats. But, it dries quickly, so once it’s set, remove the tape. In only minutes you’ll have one-of-a kind shoes.

Slip ons via K-Mart, and shorts are thrifted Wranglers cut off above the knee.

If you upgrade any shoes, link in the comments, we’d love to see!

And can we just say we hope you have the happiest weekend! It has been an incredible week for Small Fry, and we are on cloud nine. The morning we launched the site was taking minutes to load because so many of you were here. We were laughing because while you were reading our motto, we were either scolding or ignoring our kids while we frantically tried to troubleshoot. We are doing this for our boys, and to be better mothers, but we are definitely not perfect. While we work out the kinks in life and online, we hope you know how much we value and appreciate your support. We hope that we can show you even an ounce of what we’ve felt in return.

peach jam sale

What? Another peach post? We know, we definitely took advantage of peach season around these parts. This is the last one, promise. While we would have had no problem eating every last jar of our Peach Basil Jam , one of our own Quinn has been hassling his mom for a big boy bike. We talked it over and noticed that all our big boys have been a little bit “asky” lately. It got us thinking about how we could teach them a little bit more about work and earning fun things. When we asked them, Dash said he’d like to earn Super Fast Running Shoes, and Hayes was thrilled at the thought of earning yet another “Light-bean A-Queen.”

So while the task at hand surely created more work for us then them, they seemed to grasp the concept and were so thrilled to see neighbors lining up to buy their jam.

We set up the stand for them, brought in a festive peach shaped balloon bouquet and bunting flag, and forced them into some tiny aprons with our Peach Basil Jam brand. We topped all our jars with the downloadable labels, printed onto adhesive paper and tied with green baker’s twine.

The neighbors loved it, Quinn is currently riding a two wheeler around the neighborhood, Dash is running in his new shoes yelling “Super Fast! Super Fast!”, and Hayes had his mom tuck Light-Bean into bed with him last night.

If you’re making the Peach Basil Jam, which we’re certain you are, feel free to download our jam lid label below!