Ten Easy St. Patrick’s Day Ideas

I’m no super mom but I dream of being one. I love all the creative ideas floating around with fun things to do for your kids on holidays, but the truth is, I tend to forget to actually do them. Am I alone?

Here’s a list of super easy and quick ways to do a little something extra special for St. Patrick’s Day this year:

1. Green Toilet Water

greentoiletwatervia A Differentiated Kindergarten

Add a little green food coloring to the toilet bowl before you call it a night, and blame it on those pesky leprechaun’s.

2. Green Breakfast

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Or if you forget, do it for dinner. You get a second chance with this one. This is my husband and my oldest having green eggs and green milk. Endless options here…green milk in the cereal, green smoothie, green pancakes/waffles/french toast.

3. Lucky Charms

luckycharmsvia Wizards & Fairies

Get ’em hopped up on sugar cereal!

4. Free Printables

freeprintablevia Money Savvy Michelle

There is a plethora of free printable coloring pages and activity sheets on Pinterest.

5. Wear something silly & green

Via Target

Pick up some St. Patty’s Day themed socks for each family member.

6. Make some art

via Parenting.com

Browse Pinterest for a bunch of easy art ideas you can do with your kids. I love this hand print version of a four-leaf clover. Precious!

7. Rainbow water

via happy hooligans

How cool is this? Just add a little food coloring to your ice-cube trays in rainbow colors to make this “rainbow water”. This would be a fun way to spice up dinner time.

8. Jazz up the lunchbox

via Bento Diva

You don’t have to go all out like this adorable bento box, but try to add some green or a shamrock sandwich to the old lunchbox. If you don’t have a shamrock cookie cutter, you can also cut out three small hearts to form the shamrock leaves, and add something else for the stem.

9. Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner


via Canadian Family

Make a traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage. This recipe is easy peasy, you just put everything in the crock pot and get on with your day.

10. Green beer

Now pour yourself a green beer and kiss someone – Irish or not ūüôā

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Easy Crusty Bread

This bread is amazing. Seriously. It will blow your mind. Just a few ingredients and you’ve got a super yummy, fresh-baked loaf of bread. Never buy another loaf of artisan bread from the grocery store again!

This is not an original idea by any means. I have seen similar recipes on Pinterest and on various blogs. I used the recipe over at Simply So Good: Crusty Bread. I won’t go into all the details she does…but if you want more ideas on what to bake it in, or what other flavors to add, check out her post.

Here we go…you will need:

-3 cup of flour (regular white unbleached)
– 1 3/4 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp yeast
– 1 1/2 cups water

*The only thing you have to remember about this recipe is that you need to give it 12-18 hours to rise. So plan ahead! I like to mix mine up the night before and bake the next day, about mid-day.

Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add the water and mix together until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on the counter, unrefrigerated to rise, 12-18 hours. It will be a big gooey mess, but that’s ok. Just walk away and let it do its magic.

After 12-18 hours it should have puffed up nicely and look very sticky. It’s perfect.

Preheat¬†your oven to 450 degrees and once preheated, place your pot in the oven for 30 minutes. I used my crock pot insert because I don’t have a gorgeous Le Creuset¬†(yet!) like she suggested. After putting your pot in the oven, dump out the dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape it into a ball. Let it rest (no kneading!) and put the plastic wrap over it. And you really don’t need to grease your pot, the dough doesn’t stick a bit.

Once your pot has preheated for 30 minutes carefully take it out (remember, it’s really hot!) and drop your dough into the pot. Put on the lid (or cover with foil) and bake for 30 minutes.

After baking, carefully remove the pot and using pot holders, remove the bread to cool on a wire rack. Admire your gorgeous work and how wonderful your kitchen now smells.

See? Could it be any easier?? We enjoyed this loaf with big bowls of soup on a cold night, and the next night sliced thin for paninis.

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Roasted chicken thighs with sage and pear

Savory chicken thighs with fresh herbs and the sweetness of pear. This is a perfect super-simple recipe for fall that fills your kitchen with the smell of comfort food. I also like this quick dinner because it literally takes a few minutes to prep, something I can appreciate as a mom of little ones.

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive or grape seed oil
3-4 fresh sage leaves
2 pears
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken thighs and place in glass baking dish. Roll up sage leaves and slice, and run your knife through them again to dice. Combine oil and sage in a bowl, and brush over thighs. Turn once to cover chicken. Quarter pears and place around chicken in the baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 40-50 minutes, until meat reaches 165 degrees on meat thermometer.

All natural cleaning scrub recipe

This is one of the easiest cleaning recipes but one of my favorites. If you’ve made my homemade laundry soap, you should have Borax and baking soda around. The recipe is simple: 2 parts Borax to 1 part baking soda. (If you don’t have the items already, Borax can be found in the laundry aisle at most grocery stores.)

First, take a large nail and a hammer, and punch holes in the top of your mason jar. This will be your container for your scrub.

Then mix your Borax and baking soda together and a bada bing!

Use in showers, tubs, sinks and tile for a simple, non-toxic and non-abrasive cleaner. You can also sprinkle in your garbage disposal and drain, let stand for 15 minutes and rinse to clean and deodorize.

Zucchini fritters

Last year our garden was buried in zucchini so I was constantly on the search for good recipes to use it up. I was ecstatic when I found these utterly ahhhh-mazing zucchini fritters over at Smitten Kitchen. They are flavorful, simple and were a hit around our dinner table.

I tweaked the recipe a bit tonight and they were yet again, fabulous.

First take a couple of zucchini or one big mama like I had. Grate it on a cheese grater or use your food processor like I did. I left the peel on.

Isn’t it gorgeous already?

The next step is to get as much of the water out as you can¬†so they crisp up nicely later. The best way I found to do this is to put the shredded zucchini in cheesecloth and wring it out. You will see quite a bit of water coming out, this is good. Get it as dry as you can. If you don’t have cheesecloth around, try¬†it with a paper towel using smaller amounts or put the zucchini in a colander and push the water out with a spoon.

Next you want to add some other things for flavor. I added a diced up leek for some kick and a couple of gloves of minced garlic. You could also add some chopped green onion or parmesan cheese.

Add about 1/2 cup of flour, 1 tsp baking soda and salt and pepper to taste and combine well. Now get out that frying pan.

You could use any oil, I chose grape seed oil to fry up these puppies. Heat on medium high heat and gently drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil and flatten a bit with the back of a spoon. Fry for a few minutes and flip when golden.

Smitten Kitchen recommends popping these in the oven for 10 minutes or so after frying to make sure they get perfectly crispy. Yummy! Top with a dab of sour cream and you’re in heaven.

Homemade dry shampoo for brunettes

Dry shampoo is one of my absolute beauty must haves. It freshens up your locks after a workout or in between washings, and gives your roots a little lift from bed head. It can be a spendy product, but my main issue is that it can leave your hair with an ashy grey look if you have brown or other dark-colored hair. Dry shampoo is basically made of cornstarch and fragrance. So, I got to mixing in my kitchen and came up with a nice homemade version that works great for us non-blonds.

Just take equal amounts of unsweetened cocoa powder and cornstarch and mix together. Store the mixture and sprinkle (not too much!) on roots when you need a little hair refresher and some body.

I’m wondering if you could use cinnamon or something to make a version for red-heads? Hmmmmm…

Puffed Up Egg Oven Pancake

My Dad and I had a tradition growing up of cooking breakfast together on Sunday mornings. One of our favorite things to make was a puffed oven pancake that I called “the egg thing”. It’s a simple recipe but delicious, and perfect when you want to switch it up a bit. I like to make it when we have people visiting because it has a nice presentation when you pull it out of the oven – puffy, eggy goodness.

Puffed Up Egg Oven Pancake
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 egg white
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter

For topping:
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1-2 tsps powdered or granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine first five ingredients until mixed and smooth. Heat butter in oven safe skillet over medium heat. Pour batter into pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until edges are set, without stirring. Move pan to oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until eggs are set and puffy, and edges are golden. Drizzle lemon juice over the top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Alternatively, you can top with maple syrup, fresh fruit compote or even whipped cream. Cut into wedges and serve. Enjoy!

Frozen grapes


If you are craving something sweet and refreshing, ditch the ice cream for this guilt-free scrumptous treat – frozen grapes. Take a bunch of grapes (I prefer red grapes), rinse them off, and just pop ’em in the freezer for a couple of hours. So easy and they come out of the freezer frosty and refreshing.

GAK

Gak: A popular Nickolodeon slime, available in many variations such as glow in the dark, speckled, coconut smelling, etc. Useful for making fart noises and grossing out friends. (via Urban Dictionary)

We made our own. So easy, best $3 project ever.

Homemade Gak

  • Empty two 4 ounce bottles of Elmer’s glue into a big bowl.
  • Add 8 ounces of water and mix (you can just refill the Elmer’s bottles with water)
  • Add desired food coloring.
  • Dissolve 1 tsp Borax into 1/2 cup of warm water.
  • Add the Borax mixture to the glue mixture.
  • Watch it turn into the slimey fun we call Gak!

See, wasn’t that easy??