"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Painting your own jars to look like blue & aqua Ball Jars

I am constantly looking for new ways to use items from my recycling bin.  Recently I came across the blog post linked below that has step by step instructions on how to make any glass container look like colored glass.  This is a very popular look in decorating these days.

At first I was thinking that it might take me a long while to accumulate any substantial number of jars because I couldn't think of much that came in glass containers anymore...until I looked in the fridge & cupboards that is.  And let's face it, recycling feels good, it saves landfill space, & saves money. Plus, projects like this are fun & rewarding when you are done & you get to enjoy them in your home.

Here are some of the items sold in glass jars that I discovered in my home:

*  Pickles
*  Spaghetti Sauce
*  Cherries
*  Applesauce
*  Olives
*  Relish
*  Banana Peppers
*  Mayo
*  Some canned fruits
*  Jam
*  Baby Food

You will need:

*  A cheap foam brush
     (a regular brush will work, but may leave stroke marks)
*  White glue (like Elmer's)
*  Glass jars
*  Food Coloring
*  Water

Follow the link below for full instructions.  Happy Crafting!  I'd love to see pictures of your creations either here or on our Facebook page.


The Single Nester: How to Make Blue Ball Jars Plus a Floral Arrangement

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Break Staycation

If you are like me, you may have at some point in time felt the pressure to plan an exciting Spring Vacation for your family.  After all, some of your friends are flying to Hawaii with their families to enjoy surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling...  Your Sister and her family are going to Disney World with the whole family.  And last you heard, your child's best friend and their family will be driving to the Grand Canyon with an itinerary to stop at all the historical stops along the way.

And now you are sitting in a room with a group of other parents, all eyes on you, waiting for you to answer the inevitable question, "What is your family doing for Spring Break?"

Not everyone can go on big vacations over school holidays.  Some cannot afford a trip due to finance.  Some families don't have the time, Mom and/or Dad are unable to get time off work to schedule a 'family' vacation get away.

Did anyone ever tell us that we MUST take our entire family on expensive vacations to exciting destinations each year?  (Rhetorical answer = NO!) What do we think will happen if we don't provide our kids with an exciting adventure that rivals everyone they know?  Will we have our names removed from some mystical book of 'good parenting'? 

The answer is "Of Course Not"!  Some have overcome the desire to beat the Jones' and their fancy destination vacations, so to speak, and yet they still feel a pressure to provide some sort of exciting experience for their kids over the break, filled with constant activity.

I would like to suggest that you give yourself permission to throw out those pesky expectations. I have read that in prehistoric times, spring break was a time to celebrate the fact that you survived winter!  Whahoo.....we made it alive!

I should say that as a homeschool Mom I can relate with good humor that I am am celebrating that I lived through this much of the school year!  My son is doing well and I have not yet completely lost my mind.  Score!

For me, Spring Break is a time to relax, rest, regroup, have fun with family, and then prepare for the last leg of the school year.  Some years we may plan a get away, but it is not necessary.  This year for instance, we are staying at home.  We have a relative staying with us who is my son's age (teenagers) and we are just having day to day life without the work and constraints of a school schedule.  

My goal is not to ENTERTAIN for a short period, but rather to EXPERIENCE memories together that will last a long time.  These memory making activities don't necessarily have to cost a lot of money.  We happen to be fortunate enough to live on the coast, which offers many outdoor activities that are free or of little cost.  Also, our kids don't have to be entertained 100% of the time.  This is real life, you just don't always get what you want.  (Ouch...hard lesson to learn)

So far the boys have been hiking, played with sand discs at the dunes, shot at clay pigeons, and we hope the rest of the week will hold kayaking, fishing, and some very unscheduled goofing-around!  That's it....nothing spectacular, but something wonderful.  Isn't the goal to enjoy yourself with your loved ones?

If you don't live somewhere that you have activities to keep you and your kids having fun, look up some Birthday party games....who said they can only be done at a Birthday party?!?  NOBODY!  Go outside and play some games together!  Which games you play would likely depend on the size of your kids.

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Hide and Seek
  2. Tag
  3. Tug of War
  4. Scavenger Hunt
  5. Obstacle Course
  6. Make a Pinata
  7. Make a fort
  8. Have Relay Races
  9. Water Balloon or Egg Toss
  10. Sack Race

You can make spring break fun, without extravagant locations or expenses.  I hope you are able to take some pressure off yourself and just enjoy some time with your kids!  No apologies.....just memories!

Now, when you are asked what your family plans to do this Spring Break, you can say, "We have planned a fun filled Staycation"  (Staycation = an at home vacation).  And if you need more activity ideas, simply Google 'Staycation Ideas' and you will have lots to choose from.

I wish you all a happy, low-stress, memory making Spring Break!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BooksApp2-Organize your home or class library

Today I discovered a cell phone Application that I am really excited about!

The APP is called BooksApp2

As many of you know, I am a Homeschooling Parent, but this App would be good for Homeschoolers, Book Lovers, Parents of small children, or for those Organizational Gurus that like to organize their lives wherever possible!

I cannot count the number of times that I've either:
  • Forgotten who I've lent my books to and never gotten them back.
  • Wondered if I had a book already (or an extra one to give away...because I do that.)   You know, that moment when you are at the store, looking at a book, and wondering if you've bought it already.
  • Can't remember if I've read a book.  Oh, you know how it goes....you buy lots of books thinking you'll read them all right away.  Some of them you do, and some of them....well.....they may sit a while.  Especially if I really like a particular Author, I sometimes get confused regarding which books I've read and which I bought but haven't read yet.

The good news is that this App can fix all these issues for me!  

Here is the Description from Google Play's website regarding this App:


BooksApp helps you organize your home library effortlessly. Scan the barcode of a book and all its information is downloaded from the web and saved to your phone automatically¹. You can then easily keep track of your books.
To lend a book to someone, scan it (or open it from the list), press "Lend book" and select your friend. When a month has passed, you will get a notification to remind you where the book is. If you have a book you want to recommend to a friend, you can do that over SMS, e-mail or Facebook etc.

You can organize your books into collections, e.g. "Favorites", "Reading now" or whatever tickles your fancy.

Finding more books is trivial. You can search for books by the same author or publisher, or books dealing with the same subject, all without typing a single character. Saving any of the matches to your phone is just one tap away.

You can export books in two ways, either as a spreadsheet—which you can send to anyone—or to Google Docs². The spreadsheet is a CSV (Comma-separated values) file that you can open in any spreadsheet program. You can also send the file to other BooksApp users, both Android and iPhone users.

Importing books is done by opening a CSV file from an e-mail or from the file manager.
BooksApp exists for iPhone as well, see www.books-app.com for more information.
Happy book organization! :-)

BooksApp is open source and released under the Apache 2.0 License https://github.com/jonasb/BooksApp

¹) Should the book not exist amongst Google Books vast amounts of books, you can always enter it manually.

²) Google Docs export requires Android 2.1 or later.

Here are 2 links to the FREE App:

For Android Phones (FREE)

For iPhone (FREE)

I hope that this is as exciting to you as it was to me.  If you have kids that are old enough that you trust them with your smart phone, I bet you can recruit them to scan your books!  It is sort of fun and they can play 'Book Store'. 

Here are some Screen Shots (copied from the Google Play webpage)


I use AT&T as my cell phone provider and today when I went on my phone to 'Google Play' and searched BooksApp2, nothing came up.  My work around was to go to Google Play on my home computer, plug my cell phone into my computer via the USB plug, and I downloaded it from the computer directly to the cell phone.  It took just a couple minutes and works perfect!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Join Mind Crumbs on Facebook!

Do you have a Facebook account?  

Do you use it several times a week (or all day) like many people around the world?  If so, you are in luck!  We do too!

We want you to join us!  

I am on Facebook daily and post all sorts of homeschool, craft, food, and family ideas and instructions.  I would love to get to know you better and hear from you!

You can find us by clicking on one of the links in the post or by going directly to:

Be sure to click the 'LIKE' button and Subscribe so you don't miss any posts! 

Thank you in advance, and when you come over...write on our wall and let us know you're there.  I love getting feedback and would enjoy hearing what YOU would like me to post about!

God Bless,