Monday, March 7, 2011

type a twitter roundup!

It's Type A Twitter Monday!
Type A Twitter Monday
You can join the roundup below and on twitter - use #typeatwitter to join :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

crafting at michael's

I was out and about earlier this week and stopped at Michael's Arts & Crafts to use my 40% off coupon from the newspaper. I found some new craft ideas for the family.  I was surprised at the number of licensed kits they now offer, but was disappointed that most were 6+ or 8+. My little one is two, so I'm sure a kit is probably a little much for him but I appreciate contained crafts that are easy to take on a trip, take to a friend's or to grandma's.

Michael's had several masks in their "dollar" spot for $1$2. I thought this owl mask would be perfect for my friends over at Freckleberry Finds! Markers would probably be easiest to color the mask, but I worry that b/c it's basically a balsa or MDF material that it would bleed a bit. Acrylic paints would cover better, but be slightly more difficult for little kids to paint within the lines. Maybe some sort of paint marker?  

 Michael's also had these adorable little wooden birdhouses! How cute would these be painted and on a dresser or windowsill? I think most of them were in the $2 range (why didn't I take pictures of price tags too??)
 I love this little castle/rook bird house! Paint it pink and add it to a little girl's room! Note: These are too small to be used as actual birdhouses, I think. Each is only a few inches tall.

Small stagecoach birdhouse- this seems like a great painting craft for slightly older kids with better hand/eye coordination. This was around $7 - save this purchase for a 40% off coupon! 

 It was Read America Day (also Dr. Seuss' birthday), so Michael's had a ton of Dr. Seuss themed crafts. There were no crafts for for kids under 3; most were in the 4-6 year old age range. Available were stickers, foam stickers, craft kits, coloring books, and more! I didn't pick anything out, since my kiddo doesn't play well with stickers. Rather, he plays well with stickers but not with stickers AND walls or tables or dogs...

This was one of the few craft kits for kids around 3 years old. It was $1.49 and consisted of a foam monster and three markers. My kiddo loved this (sad? dyspeptic?) monster, but this seemed like a very easy craft to make at home. I'll show pictures tomorrow of a DIY version that has a lot more potential!

I was shocked to see all of the licensed kits Michael's had out now. The kits were all very similar and in the $4-10 price range. This one is a sewing card of Dora cards with holes punched in them to teach basic sewing skills. DIY tip: print out some clip art images onto white cardstock and punch your own holes with a hole punch for a cheap and reusable craft. Print out colorful images, like above, or find blank coloring book-style images online and print those out. Your kiddo can first color the picture and then sew around it- two projects in one! You could number the holes so it's kind of a sew-by-number to include some basic counting skills.

One reason I wasn't so thrilled with these craft kits was the obvious quality. This is a small scrapbook sticker of Dora and friends- how creepy does this monkey look? Its face and eyes were sewn on wrong, so it looks like the monkeys from Outbreak. You might be better off waiting for a coupon on these items.

Michael's is also offering Build-a-Bear kits. This one consisted of small plaster bears to paint. I think it was around $8 and for ages 4+. 

The craft kits all offered similar options for each of the characters. The Peanuts Gang had several sticker projects and plaster kits like the one above, in addition to some suncatchers. I remember making these when I was little! I think the age on this one is 6+, but really as long as you supervise a smaller child tehy can easily color in the suncatcher. 

Last up was Animal Planet kits. This one is a color by numbers painting (reminiscent of those Elvis paintings, remember those??). It comes with the colored pencils and sharpener. What I like about the Animal Planet kits is that you could pair it with a library book, National Geographic article or even the Animal Planet TV shows for a learning opportunity. 

I'll post some simple DIY crafts later this week for the kiddos!

Note: This post is not endorsed or sponsored by Michael's. I was just out shopping and thought I'd post some ideas! 

Monday, February 28, 2011

congrats! target winner

Congrats to all of the entrants to my first giveaway for a $10 gift card to Target. I am very excited to have hosted this. Thank you for all of the suggestions! I received a lot of requests for crafts and coupons, so I will see what I can do to write more posts on those subjects. Now, on to the winner!

The winner is....#20 Toesthattwinkle! She said
"Id like to see more crafts and giveaways! :)"

Toesthattwinkle, I'll email you so I can send off the GC. If she doesn't respond in 48 hours, I'll select a new winner. Thank you to all of you who commented! It means the world to me!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

yay! what a lucky day

I found out today that I won a Dinosaur Train Match Game from Making Time For Mommy. I am so very excited! We looove Dinosaur Train in my house, and this will be a welcome distraction from cabin fever. Thank you very much, MTFM!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Recipe Saturday: Crock-pots

I recently got a new crock-pot from a friend and I've been cooking up a storm at Casa de Costa! I have a confession: I'm actually a terrible cook. I can't help peeking under the lid, stirring and stirring, or taking the tray out of the oven. I have a classic case of "is-it-done-yet?"-itis. I can't help myself! I end up tweaking the recipe or taking the pan off the stove before it's fully done. DH is a terrific sport, though, since he is pretty handy in the kitchen. That's why I love slowcooking, because it's easy and pretty goof-free.

Some of my favorite sites for slow cook recipes:
A Year of Slowcooking/Crockpot365- I found this site several years ago and it turned me on to slowcooking. Most of her recipes are gluten free and/or vegetarian. I also love that she uses her crockpots for unconventional things (mud masks, kids crafts, desserts). I love Tamale Pie and Indian Curry.

Slow and Simple- This site organizes its recipes into key categories, including diabetic-friendly and beverages (and wild game, what?). I like Autumn Chicken and Pizza Beans.

The Recipe Mom- I just stumbled on this site, which is featuring several crock pot recipes this week. There's also a guide to picking out a crockpot. My guide: Go to Target. Pick one out. Done.  I like her recipe for easy psghetti.

I did a Kroger run today to pick up some extra chicken stock, veggies and chicken to whip up some larger batches of stuff this weekend to freeze. It's been a rough week of temper tantrums, repairs, and craziness. Looking forward to some quiet days but I'm not sure when they will be here!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

long week

It's been a long week here. I haven't had a chance to do much couponing (didn't even get any inserts in last week's paper!) or enter very many giveaways, so nothing new to post here. But I am so glad so many people have found my website and are entering my Target giveaway! I am just so excited by some of the ideas and comments left. I'm looking at a new background and trying to figure out how to make my own button. Hopefully I will have some new things to show you in the next few weeks!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Giveaway: $10 Target Gift Card from LeftCostaMom

Well, I missed Recipe Saturday because of a plumbing emergency that was repaired and yet not 100% fixed, as I found out late last night when I went to take a shower. Most of my Saturday was filled with trips to Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. to buy supplies so the oh-so-handy DH could work on the bathroom. With all the hubbub around the house, I've been living on sandwiches. Which brings us in a not-so-subtle segue into a brand new giveaway: from me!!!

I'd like to give away a $10 gift card to my favorite store, Target. I'm paying for this out of my own pocket so I can grow readership of my new blog and join the amazing community out there!

Giveaway: one $10 Target gift card.  Giveaway will be open for one week and close next Sunday, February 27, 2011.

How to win:
1. Friend me on Google Friend Connect (sidebar!) and leave me a comment with your email address (ie Leftcostamom at gmail)

Bonus Entries: Please leave a separate comment for each one.
1. Follow me on Twitter @LeftCostaMom. Leave a comment with your Twitter name. (One entry)

2. Tweet about this giveaway - once a day, please. Leave a comment with your tweet's link. Sample tweet:
{ @LeftCostaMom is giving away a $10 Target giftcard. #Win at Ends 2/27} (One entry per day)

3. Leave me a comment with the types of posts you'd like to see here. Recipes? Crafts? Coupons? Please also include your email address. (One entry).

4. Submit my giveaway to a linky. Leave a comment with the link and your email.  (One entry).

5. Blog about this on your blog. Leave a comment with the link to your blog. (Two entries- please leave a separate comment for each entry)

6. I don't have a button yet to grab, so if you can leave me a link to where I can create one online or a new blog template that has some included, that would be great! (Two entries - please leave a separate comment for each entry)

I'm providing this Target gift card with my own money. Target has nothing to do with this, except being an awesome place to shop. Giveaway ends midnight EST on February 27, 2011. I will use to select from all of the comments, and will email the winner the next day. The winner has 48 hours to respond before I pick another winner. Thanks and Good luck!