My Happy Crazy Life

I Am…

Family Child Care is Not Babysitting

Amy Sue
Photo credit: Gee Whiz Education

Father’s Day Craft – Grilling Spatulas

Spoiler alert!
If you’re the Dad of a child in my childcare program you may want to…
Aw, who am I kidding? We all know it’s past Father’s Day, so never mind. Read on to see this year’s Father’s Day craft!


Almost every year I post about how I waited until the last minute to start Mother’s or Father’s Day crafts but was able to get them done in the nick of time.

Not this year.

This year they were over a week late, and I felt horrible about it.

The problem was that I was paralyzed by indecision. I had a Father’s Day craft idea for the older children but had no idea what to do with the infants.

So I procrastinated, waiting for the perfect idea to come floating down with angel’s wings, surrounded by fluffy clouds and heavenly music.

Cue heavenly music…

Heavenly music?

Ideas falling from Heaven?


When it was obvious that the whole divine intervention thing was a no-go I decided to do the same Father’s Day craft with all of the children; I’d just figure the infant part out as we went along.


Father’s Day Craft Supplies

Father's Day Craft - PaintWe’ve got a stash of acrylic paints leftover from years and years of Pine Car Derby cars so I only had to buy grill spatulas, which means that this Father’s Day craft ended up costing about the same as the Mother’s Day candles we made in May. It’ll cost you more if you’ve got to buy paint and clear coat, but once you have them you can use them for future gifts.

  • Grill spatulas with wooden handles.
  • Sand paper.
  • Acrylic paints and paint brushes.
  • Clear coat.


Directions for the Father’s Day Grill Spatula Craft

Like most of my projects, this Father’s Day craft is super-easy and the children do most of it except the babies, which was the way it goes sometimes.


1. Sand.
Sand the wooden handle to remove the finish so the paint will stick. Wipe with a clean cloth to remove any sawdust. Last year’s hammers had a thicker layer of finish on them so I needed to use both coarse and fine sandpaper but I was able to use fine sandpaper for the grill spatulas. Good thing too, since I could only find 1 sheet of sandpaper!


2. Paint
Father's Day Craft - PaintingLet the children paint the handles however they wish. Since acrylics aren’t as washable as tempera I have the children tell me what color they want, then I dip the brush and hand it to them. It just takes one spill or splash to ruin an outfit, the carpet, curtains…

Father's Day Craft - More PaintingAllow to dry. I covered an old cookie sheet with waxed paper and laid the spatulas on that to dry. It worked like a charm!


Since the infants couldn’t paint by themselves I thought I’d put their fingerprints all over the handles. I painted Baby B’s finger and he immediately closed his hand, smearing paint all over his hand.

Time for Plan B!

I traced each baby’s hand, cut it out, wrapped the paper around the handle, traced it again, then painted it. Next year they’ll be old enough do do the Father’s Day craft by themselves.


3. Finish.
When the paint was dry I wrote “#1 Dad” and the child’s name with “2014″ on the handle.

Following the instructions on the can, finish the spatulas with the clear coat. You may want to tape off the metal part so it doesn’t catch any overspray.


Father's Day Craft - Grill Spatulas DoneIsn’t Peanut’s great?

They were all beautiful but I was so focused on getting them done that I forgot to take a photo of them before they were wrapped. Luckily Cowboy was kind enough to send me a photo of his. Thanks Cowboy!


Best of all, this story has a happy ending… All of the Dads loved their grill spatulas and weren’t upset that their Father’s Day gifts were late. Whew!

Next year I’m going to do both Mother’s and Father’s Day crafts at the same time; that way the Father’s Day gifts won’t be late for sure!

Amy Sue

15 Uses for Your Child’s Art

Uses for Childrens Art - Most parents proudly save their children’s first scribbles, posting them on the refrigerator or framing them to hang on the wall. But it doesn’t take long for parents to realize that keeping every piece of art their child lovingly creates would quickly turn their home into a messy art gallery.


Uses for Childrens Art - Don’t find yourself knee-deep in leaf rubbings by Thanksgiving! Here are some helpful hints for organizing and managing the onslaught of children’s artwork that threatens to take over your home. Remember to ask your child’s permission before doing anything with her her art. Some children will be excited to see their artwork living a second life, but others may be upset to see their creations “destroyed.”


15 Uses for Your Child’s Art

  1. Gift wrap and tags. Use a complete drawing to wrap gifts or to create a gift bag. Use smaller pieces of art, or cut a large piece into smaller pieces to use as gift tags.
  2. Note cards. Cut card stock into standard 4 x 6 card size and glue a smaller drawing or part of a larger work to the front. Purchase card-sized envelopes, bundle in sets of six or twelve, and wrap with a pretty ribbon for a great gift.
  3. Ornaments. Glue foil or wrapping paper to the back of your child’s art, then cut into holiday shapes. Laminate at your local office supply store or with clear contact paper. Punch a hole in the top and thread a ribbon for hanging. For a great grandparent gift, glue a current photo of your child and write the year to the back of the artwork before laminating.
  4. Scrapbooking. If you’re a scrapbooker, consider using your child’s artwork on your scrapbook pages. Artwork created during a vacation can be included on pages recording that vacation, or artwork can be used as borders, separators, and other decorations.
  5. Home decor. Frame select pieces o
  6. Photo albums. Purchase photo albums, fill them with your child’s artwork, and save them to give to your gown child as a gift. To save room, have your child choose several favorite works to be included in the album, then take photos of the other works, print, and place in the album.
  7. Drawer liners and shelf paper. Instead of buying contact paper to line drawers and shelves, use large pieces of artwork. Cut the artwork 1/2″ bigger than the drawer on all sides, top with clear contact paper, then trim to fit. For very large areas, cut plain paper to fit and glue artwork on top before covering with contact paper.
  8. Note pads. Cut several pieces of artwork into a standard 4×6″ note pad size. Stack the pieces with the back facing up and staple at the top, or punch 2 holes at the top and thread ribbon through.
  9. Place cards. Cut card stock into 4-6″ squares and fold in half. Write a guest’s name on the card, then decorate with the artwork. Perfect for a family get-together or your child’s birthday party!
  10. Bookmarks. Cut artwork into a tall, thin rectangle – 2×8″ is a good size. Laminate at your local office supply store or with clear contact paper. Punch a hole in the top and add a ribbon. For extra glitz, glue some glitter or confetti on the back of the artwork before laminating.
  11. Puzzles. Glue artwork to card stock or thin cardboard (cereal boxes work great), then cut into pieces. You can cover with clear contact paper for more durability.
  12. Placemats. Glue a large piece of art (or make a collage of smaller pieces) on a 12×18″ piece of construction paper. Laminate or cover with clear contact paper. Embellish with glitter, sequins or confetti if desired before laminating.
  13. Fancy paper plates. Glue artwork to the center of a paper plate and cover with clear contact paper. These plates should be used for dry foods only.
  14. Jar inserts. Cut a piece of artwork to fit the height and circumference of a jar. Insert into the jar, then fill with candy, potpourri, small soaps, etc. Cut another piece of artwork and a piece of contact paper to fit the cover. Glue the artwork on and cover with the contact paper. Finish with a pretty ribbon and give to family or friends.
  15. Home decor. Frame select pieces of your child’s art and display in his room or in other rooms of the house. Laminated pieces can also be used to decorate an outdoor playhouse.


Uses for Childrens Art - What are some creative ways you’ve used your child’s art? Leave your ideas in the comments below!

Amy Sue

Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint - Paint SplattersOne of my goals for the child care this summer was to get over some of my CDO Most people call it “OCD” but I can’t because that’s not in alphabetical order and let the children get messy.

Another goal was to do more art activities outside.

Sidewalk chalk paint to the rescue!

Sidewalk chalk paint is so quick and easy to make that you can decide to make it at the last moment. I decided to whip some up while the children were washing hands and using the bathroom before going outside.


Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint - PaintsSimply stir together 1/3 cup cornstarch & 1/3 cup water, then add food coloring or washable Tempera paint. I used food coloring because Baby L eats EVERYTHING so I’ve been using edible materials whenever I can.


Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint - Girls PaintingI’ve seen muffin tins used as a sidewalk chalk paint palettes, but I decided it would be easier to have separate containers rather than have all the children trying to share a muffin tin so I grabbed Tupperware snack cups.

Besides, if one cup gets dumped it’s less of a tragedy than if a whole muffin tin of paint was dumped.


Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint - Boys PaintingBring out the brushes, the stand back and watch the fun! Apparently Baby B wants to get in the action too.


Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint - Everyone PaintingThe children love mixing and layering the colors to see what happens.


Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint - Painted FunThe first time I made sidewalk chalk paint I only let the children paint the cement, but this time I said they could paint anything except the garage and house. Ironically, except for one tree block and one brick, they only painted on the cement.

Eventually all the paint was dumped out, but no one complained.

I’d call that a success – score one point toward becoming less CDO!

Amy Sue

DIY Outdoor Canopy

DIY Outdoor CanopyIt all started with an innocent Pinterest pin – a “Suntracking Shelter” that you could move along metal arches as the sun moved across the sky. I thought it would be great for the sandbox because it’s in full sun all afternoon, and normal “flat” canopies don’t help because of the sun’s angle.

Teacher saw the Pin and said “We can make that ourselves; it looks pretty easy.”

And it was.



We didn’t have any directions so we had to figure things out as we went along.

First we had to decide what would hold up the canopy. We compared and contrasted the pros and cons of metal electrical conduit vs plastic PVC pipe, then we debated the pros and cons of an arch vs a square shape. Finally we decided we really preferred the arch shape, and chose PVC pipe – rigid for the “legs” and flexible for the arch. We also bought connectors. The rigid and flexible PVC had different outer dimensions so we couldn’t find connectors that would work on both, but the flexible tubing was just a tad bigger so Teacher planned to sand the extra off with his Dremel tool.


DIY Outdoor Canopy - View from Other SideFinding fabric for the outdoor canopy was much easier! We browsed the Outdoor Fabric section of our local fabric store and picked out one we liked. Since the sandbox is 8′ from inner corner to inner corner we bought 3 yards of fabric to make sure there would be enough to make the pockets for the arches.

The fabric canopy itself was super-duper easy to make – the hardest part was making sure my measurements were right! First I folded and topstitched the selvedges under. Sure, it’s an outdoor canopy but I did want it to look nice.

Then I made the pockets for the arches: I loosely measured around the connector, added 1/2″ for ease and hem, and cut the fabric to the right length. Then I measured and drew a line 4′ each way from the center of the fabric, ending up with two lines 8′ apart. I folded the fabric wrong-sides-together on those lines and pressed the fold, folded the raw edges under, pressed and pinned that fold, then I top stitched along the pinned fold to make the pockets. I sewed a second line over the first for reinforcement.

Easy peasy!


Meanwhile, Teacher was working on the harder part of the project – the arches. He cut the rigid PVC into 4 pieces, ground down the outside of the flexible PVC with his Dremel, then connected them with the connectors. They were gorgeous! We tried them out in the sandbox and were SO excited by the perfect arches.

Then I put the fabric on and our ballon burst – the weight of the fabric bent the flexible toward the center of the sandbox.

Back to the drawing board!


DIY Outdoor Canopy - Making the ArchesAfter scrapping the PVC pipe idea we went back to Teacher’s original idea of making the outdoor conduit from electrical conduit. I wasn’t sure how he’d bend it, but I knew he’d figure something out. And of course he did.

He trapped the conduit between our concrete steps and a ten-gallon pail. I stood on the pail so it wouldn’t go flying while he pulled on the conduit, using the curve of the pail create an arch. It worked like a charm.

My man is a genius!

To get two similar arches we taped the flexible PVC to the driveway with the ends 8′ apart and used it as a pattern. We laid the conduit over the PVC periodically to compare, and made adjustments as needed. The finished arches weren’t perfect, but they were pretty darn close!


DIY Outdoor Canopy - We tried the arches out in the sandbox and burst another balloon – they were so short that the children couldn’t stand up in the sandbox.

Luckily that was easy to fix! We bought a 10′ length of conduit and compression connectors. Teacher cut the conduit into fourths then connected them to the arches with compression connectors.

Easy peasy!


DIY Outdoor Canopy - Side ViewWe slid the fabric canopy on the conduit arches and drafted the boys to help us hold the whole contraption up in the sandbox. It was perfect!

The boys dug deep holes into the corners of the sandbox and we were ready to put up the outdoor canopy. I couldn’t wait to see it completely done!

We sunk the “legs” deep into the sand, then Teacher screwed a conduit strap into each corner board to support the canopy. The legs should pull out for winter, and in the meantime we can push the fabric canopy all the way down to the ground when there are high winds.

DIY Outdoor Canopy - Boys PlayingI think the outdoor canopy turned out great, and so do the boys. I can’t wait for the child care children to see it!

Amy Sue

Photo credit: Hammacher Schlemmer

Mother’s Day Craft – Candles

Spoiler alert!

If you’re the mother of a child enrolled in my child care program you may want to skip this post for now and come back after you open your Mother’s Day gift. Just a thought…

Everyone else feel free to keep reading for a fantastic Mother’s Day craft idea!


Mother's Day Craft CandlesIf you’ve been around for previous Mother’s Days you know that I always have good intentions about planning ahead and making our Mother’s Day crafts ahead of time, but I never quite manage to carry through. Of course, this year is no exception; I was still looking for a “good” Mother’s Day craft the Monday beforehand. And by “good” I mean “something I’d actually enjoy receiving and/or using” – no paper doily corsages, or tissue paper hats. I also try to find something that the children can do mostly on their own. I’m betting that most moms would rather have gifts from their children instead of me!

Luckily Pinterest came to my rescue with these great Mother’s Day candles!


Mother’s Day Craft Candle Supplies

Mother's Day Craft Candle - SuppliesYou probably already have most of the supplies you need to make these Mother’s Day candles at home; the rest can probably be found at the dollar store:

  • Candles
  • Candle holders
  • Ribbon – wired or unwired
  • Tissue paper
  • Markers
  • Wax paper
  • Hair dryer

Directions for the Mother’s Day Craft Candles

These Mother’s Day candles are easy to make, but require an adult for the hair dryer step because of the high heat needed. Read on for details…

1. Cut:
Cut a single layer of tissue paper a little smaller than the size of the candle. You’ll need 1 sheet for each candle, and a couple extra in case your child goes overboard with the coloring.


2. Color:
Mother's Day Craft Candle - Starting OverHave your child decorate the tissue paper with markers, being careful not to tear the tissue paper.


Mother's Day Craft Candle - ColoringColoring lightly and drawing lines works better than lots of heavily colored-in areas.


Mother's Day Craft Candle - DrawingOlder children enjoy writing their names, and sometimes “Mom” or the year too.


3. Melt
Mother's Day Craft Candle - MeltThis step is harder to explain than to do, so bear with me…

Wrap the tissue paper around the candle, then wrap a piece of wax paper over the tissue paper.


Mother's Day Craft Candle - MeltingUsing the excess wax paper as a handle, blow hot air over your design with the hair dryer. Be careful not to blow the air on your hand – it’s HOT! As the wax melts you’ll see the tissue paper start to disappear so your design looks brighter. You’ll probably need to move the wax paper around the candle so you can reach each part of the candle with the hot air.

Carefully remove the wax paper from the candle and check to see if there are any areas you missed with the hot air.


4. Finish:
Mother's Day Craft Candle - HoldersWhen the candle is cool, pop it into the candle holder.


Mother's Day Craft Candle - RibbonTie a pretty bow on it, and you’re done! I let the children choose which ribbon they wanted for their Mother’s Day candles.

Aren’t they pretty? They’re definitely the kind of thing I’d display if I received one for Mother’s Day. Best of all, they were done ahead of time!

Amy Sue

Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Recipe

Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup RecipeThe first time I ever had Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup was at Teacher’s house before we were married. He’d invited me to visit for a weekend and I was so head-over-heels for him that I jumped at the chance. Yes, his parents were there the whole time and we slept in separate rooms.

Teacher’s mom made Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup for supper Friday night. My mom never made Hamburger Helper so I’d only had it once before, when I was babysitting. I didn’t even know you could make soup from Hamburger Helper!

To make a long story short, I LOVED it!


Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Recipe – with Pictures

We’ve made Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup many times over the years, and recently made a healthier version that was even better than the original!


Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Recipe - HamburgerStart by browning some onions and hamburger or ground turkey. We usually use ground turkey, but Angel Face who doesn’t eat red meat wasn’t going to be home so we used grass-fed ground beef this time.


Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Recipe - CauliflowerAdd cauliflower florets.


Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Recipe - CarrotsAnd sliced carrots.

Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Recipe - Annie's Shells & CheeseInstead of Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni mix we used an organic Annie’s mix. We’d been planning to use an organic Cheeseburger Macaroni mix but the store was all out both times we went so we bought shells & cheese instead. It worked great!


Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Recipe - Add Annie's MixStir in the cheese packet, then add some water. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta separately, then add to the soup.


Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Recipe - DoneStir everything together, add salt & pepper to taste, then enjoy!

Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup – the Official Recipe

My mother-in-law’s recipe called for Hamburger Helper, ground beef, frozen cauliflower. Our version is a bit healthier with fresh cauliflower, an organic mix, and ground turkey or grass-fed beef. Soup is so versatile, you can adapt the recipe to your own taste. Put in more carrots and use less cauliflower, or vice versa. Replace the pasta with more veggies for a low-carb option. Use your imagination!

Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 small head fresh cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 box organic Cheeseburger Macaroni (or shells & cheese)
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh or dried parsley, optional

Cheeseburger Macaroni Soup Directions

  1. Cook onions and ground turkey together until turkey is done. Drain if needed.
  2. Stir in cauliflower, carrots, and seasoning packet. Add water and stir to combine.
  3. Heat to boiling, stirring often. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate pot cook macaroni until tender. Drain.
  5. Add to soup mixture. Add salt, pepper, and parsley as desired.

The recipe makes about 8 cups soup. For more flavor, substitute chicken broth for some or all of the water. For extra cheesiness, double the cheese packets (save the pasta for future use), add cheese packets from macaroni and cheese (again, save the macaroni for future use), or add powdered cheddar cheese.

What family recipes have you adopted from your spouse’s family? Post them in the comments below so we can try them too!

Happy cooking,
Amy Sue

Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe by Rick Bayless

Last Christmas I gave Teacher “Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks” by Rick Bayless, and we’ve been working our way through the recipes one blissful weekend at a time.

One of the recipes that really intrigued me was the Meyer Lemon Margarita. I’m not a big fan of lemons, but Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and and orange so I thought I’d probably like a Meyer Lemon Margarita.

The Meyer Lemon Margarita recipe falls in the Winter section of the cookbook, with the note “…when the strikingly aromatic Meyer lemons become available in early winter, it’s worth celebrating…” I watched all winter for Meyer lemons in our grocery store, ready to celebrate, but they didn’t appear until early spring. As soon as I saw them I grabbed a bag because I was afraid they’d be gone the next time we went in. And I was right – there weren’t any left the following weekend! Sometimes it pays to be paranoid…

Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe – with Pictures

You need to plan ahead for Meyer Lemon Margaritas because the Meyer Lemon Tequila needs to be started about four days before you need it and the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup should also be made ahead of time so it has time to cool.

Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Tequila with Lemon PeelsTo make Meyer Lemon Tequila, place Meyer lemon zest the colored part only in tequila – 100% blue agave tequila, of course.

I thought I’d be so smart and stuff the zest into the Patron bottle with the tequila, but it didn’t all fit. I got almost all of it in but then the tequila came to the very top so I couldn’t use the stopper. Instead, I put plastic wrap over the top and used a rubber band to hold it on. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!


Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Meyer LemonsDon’t throw out the naked Meyer lemons! You’ll need their juice for the Margaritas, so keep them in the refrigerator until the tequila is done.


Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Simple Syrup BeginningsFor Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup, place more Meyer lemon zest in a sauce pan with sugar and water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer a couple of minutes.


Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Simple Syrup DoneAllow the syrup to cool, then strain to remove the zest.

I expected the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup to be bright yellow like the lemons themselves, but it was actually brownish and kind of yucky-looking. Despite its appearance it tasted yummy!


Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Ready to StorePour into a covered container and refrigerate for several weeks. Remember to label it so your kids don’t use it for something! The voice of experience…


Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Straining the TequilaAfter the four days have passed, strain the zest out of the tequila. Now it’s ready to use!


Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Tequila ZestUnlike the zest in simple syrup, this zest kept it’s bright yellow color.

I’ll bet it’s full of tequila too… I’ll bet I could’ve used it to make a rockin’ lemon bread. Something to try next time!


Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Finished TequilaStore the Meyer Lemon Tequila in a covered glass container. It’ll keep a month or two without any loss of flavor – if it lasts that long.


Now that the prep work is done it’s time to make some Meyer Lemon Margaritas!


Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Juicing the LemonsJuice about 4-5 Meyer lemons into a large pitcher. Teacher always squeezes twice – once with the rind side down and once with the rind side up. Add some Meyer Lemon Tequila, Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup, and triple sec (official recipe below).

Stir to mix, then pour into an ice-filled shaker and shake until very cold – about 15 seconds.


Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Ready to Drink!Strain into Margarita glasses Christmas-themed charms optional, garnish with a lemon twist also optional, and enjoy!


Meyer Lemon Margaritas – Official Recipe

This is Rick’s “Pitcher Recipe for a Party” which makes 8 cocktails. Half a Pitcher Recipe is the perfect amount for Teacher and I to each have 2 Margaritas: – one to enjoy while making dinner and the other to enjoy while eating.

Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe Ingredients

  • 10 Meyer Lemons total
  • 1 750ml bottle 100% blue agave blanco tequila
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup triple sec
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twists – optional

Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe Preparation

Plan to prepare the Meyer Lemon Tequila and Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup at least 4 days beforehand.

Meyer Lemon Tequila

  1. Using a vegetable peeler or knife, remove the colored zest from 8 of the Meyer Lemons in as big of strips as you can. Set the lemons for juicing later.
  2. Place the zest in a glass jar. Add the tequila and cover.
  3. Allow to stand for 4 days, tipping the jar back and forth several times each day.
  4. After 4 days strain out the zest.
  5. Store the tequila in a tightly-covered glass container for up to two months.

Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup

  1. Remove the zest from 2 more Meyer lemons, like you did for the first 8.
  2. Place the zest into a small saucepan. Add 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Set over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking until the mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Cool, then strain into a glass jar. Cover tightly and refrigerate. It will keep for several weeks.

Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe – Directions

Now that the prep work is all done it’s time to make some Margaritas!

  1. Squeeze as many “naked” Meyer lemons as you need to get 1 cup of fresh juice. (Start with about 5-6, depending on their size.)
  2. In a pitcher, combine the 1 cup of juice with 1 1/2 cups Meyer Lemon Tequila, 3/4 cup triple sec, and 1/2 cup Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup.
  3. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour in 1 cup of the Margarita mixture. Shake about 15 seconds, then strain into 2 Margarita glasses.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist if desired.

Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Yum!

For the original recipe and many more incredible Margarita recipes, pick up your own copy of Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks. This is NOT an affiliate link; I just believe that authors should receive payment for their hard work.

Meyer Lemon Margarita Recipe - Cookbook

If you make Lemon Meyer Margaritas be sure to stop by and let me know what you think! If you can’t find fresh Meyer lemons, try Pineapple Margaritas instead – they’re just a good in a different way!

Amy Sue

Have a Nice Trip? See you in the Fall!

Did you know that falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death?

Not many people do.


June is National Safety Month so I’d like to share some quick tips for preventing slips, trips, and falls in your home:
Infographic - How to Avoid Slips, Trips, Falls

For more information, check out How to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls.

Amy Sue

Pool Party Ideas For Kid’s Birthdays

This is a guest post by Kaitlin Gardner of As always the only benefits I receive from guest posts is time saved and great tips!

My son wanted to have a party at our family pool for his birthday. I was excited to hear that, because it would be a lot easier than trying to rent a space somewhere and get everything set up. But I’ve been known to “overplan” things at times (she says with a wry grin), so I had to remember – this party was for my son – and plan accordingly.

Entertainment. I started by asking him what entertainment he wanted to have at the party. “Mom, we just want to play.” From his perspective, it was just that simple. He wanted to invite all his buddies over to play in the pool. Sometimes you can just yell out “shark in the water,” and the kids take it from there and have a fun pool game. As long as the kids were having fun, I needed to remember to just let that be and not over-orchestrate. Just in case they needed a new idea, I found great pool games at these sites:

We also set up a croquet set in the back yard, and had some Frisbees available, to have something for the kids to do after the meal, while they had to sit out of the pool.

Invitations and guest list. My son knew who he wanted to invite, so making up a guest list was pretty straightforward. I call parents to confirm addresses for sending out invitations, and used that moment to diplomatically confirm that their child could swim. Then I let the parents know they were welcome to stay for the party. One Mom who had a pool party tried giving the invitations to her son to pass out at school, and some got lost, so that’s why I used the regular mail. Plus, a child getting a real invitation in the mail is a thrill – it is for my kids anyway.

What about food? To make sure I did what my son wanted, I asked him to check with his friends and see what they’d want for a meal. I knew the answer would come back either burgers or pizza, and I was right – they chose pizza. I called in a pre-order at a great pizza place which would deliver, and you should have heard the yells when the pizza guy showed up. I had some tables set up with place settings, and provided plates, drinks, and napkins (which they didn’t seem to use much), and the kids were delighted with dinner.

Speaking of safety. If we rented a roller rink for a party, there would not be the same need for safety that being in a pool will bring up. Yes, the kids might roll into the wall, but there would not be the possibility that a child could drown. We had to think about safety in a very serious way. My husband and I were going to be doing a lot – playing host to parents, keeping an eye on all the kids, getting drinks and snacks, so our focus would be scattered. We didn’t want to just assume the parents who were there would watch the kids – safety was too important to leave to chance. Enter Lenny – he’s the teenager who lives down the street. He’s a lifeguard all summer at the pool where the kids all swim. The kids idolize him, and mind him very nicely. We hired him for a couple of hours, and now we had a safety solution that didn’t mean I’d have to try to corral a bunch of rambunctious kids.

My son came to me after everyone left and said “my friends all had a blast!” I just smiled, knowing I had given him a great birthday party.

Kaitlin Gardner started to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her best friend and lives in Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking, biking and enjoy nature. She just started her first book about living an eco-friendly, healthy, natural lifestyle.
Photo credit: #184356690 –