Showing posts with label St. Patrick's Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label St. Patrick's Day. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Luck under Pressure

Generally speaking, we don't make a big deal out of St. Patrick's Day. We have a few decorations that get put out at the beginning of the month. Most of the family will wear something green on St. Patrick's Day. Occasionally we do a craft or make a special treat, but nothing has become a tradition for us when it comes to March 17th.

So, you can imagine my surprise when one excited little girl clambered into my bed yesterday morning, inquiring whether or not the leprechauns had come. Huh? I didn't know this was something I needed to make happen. I've got the Santa act down pat (except for that one time) and I am becoming a pro at finding fun (not naughty!) new things for our Elf on the Shelf, Coconut E. Butterfly to do. The Easter Bunny always visits our home each year. Our newest special friend, the Tooth Fairy has even put in a couple of appearances.

But leprechauns? They're not really in my repertoire -- although I did make rainbow cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day a couple years back because Mia kept asking about leprechauns and wondering when they were going to bring her some gold. At least then she had given me some advance notice so I could come up with a plan! This time, she gave me no warning that she was expecting leprechauns. She simply believed that they would show up and cause mischief at our house because they had done that last year in her kindergarten classroom.

Well, one thing was for certain. There were not going to be any shenanigans! If some leprechauns did happen to come to our house, they were not going to make any big messes for me to clean up. (Remember, Coco doesn't do naughty things because that sets a bad example.) Why would I make my life unnecessarily harder?

I thought about this off and on throughout the day. I alternated feeling guilty for not making a bigger deal out of St. Patrick's Day and feeling like I shouldn't have to make a big deal of it and that maybe it was okay to let it slide because if I did make a big deal, then it would become an expectation to always make a big deal. (See, being a mom is so hard! There's always something to feel guilty about and blow completely out of proportion.)

At the end of the day (Think 5 minutes before we walked down to the bus stop!) guilt won out. Logan was busy eating a snack, so I grabbed the green paint and ducked into the bathroom where I dashed off two little "leprechaun foot prints," using my fist and finger tip. It didn't seem like quite enough, but I was not about to make a whole bunch of foot prints. I didn't have the time, and it would have violated my no-BIG-mess/no-shenanigans policy.

Then, I realized I had a couple small items set aside... that were probably meant for Easter baskets, but I'll deal with that later. Next to the leprechaun prints, I quickly set an Angelina Ballerina Uno game (from a garage sale) and a Lightning McQueen pencil pouch (clearance find). All that was left to do was wait for a lucky little lass and a lucky little lad to discover what the leprechaun left for them. And, speaking of luck, I was lucky that I was the only one who noticed the green paint on the cuff of my sweatshirt!

{Quick, simple, and cheap solution to an unusual problem.}

Saturday, March 1, 2014

17 Lunchbox Jokes-of-the-Day for St. Patrick's Day

Mia loved the  Christmas and Valentine's Day lunchbox jokes, so I decided to continue this for March. This is a collection of my favorite kids' St. Patrick's Day jokes from the following web sites:, Kids Play and Create,, and Enchanted Learning (some of which I have edited to make more sense, in my opinion). The last couple jokes are probably over Mia's head, but I included them anyway.

I typed these in Microsoft Word and and then pasted in free clip art images from around the web. (As an aside that I think is worth mentioning: I made sure that none of the leprechauns had mugs of beer or pipes, because really, I didn't want to go there. I don't feel like answering questions about what the leprechaun is holding. Plus, it keeps it appropriate for school.)

I included 17 jokes, one for each day leading up to St. Patrick's Day -- even though she doesn't have that many school days. This gives us extra to include throughout March, or I can pick and choose what I think will be funniest to Mia. We actually started them yesterday since she came home from school on Thursday and pouting, asked why there had been no joke in her lunch that day!

Q: What kind of music does a leprechaun band play?
A: Shamrock ‘n’ roll!

Q: How did the leprechaun beat the Irishman to the pot of gold?
A: He took a shortcut!

Q: What do you get if you cross poison ivy with a four leaf clover?
A: A rash of good luck.

Q: What position does a leprechaun play on a baseball team?
A: Shortstop!

Q: What did one Irish ghost say to the other?
A: Top o’ the moaning to you!

Q: Why do frogs like St. Patrick’s Day?
A: Because they’re always wearing green!

Q: What do you call a fake stone?
A: A shamrock.

Q: Why did St. Patrick drive all the snakes out of Ireland?
A: Because he couldn’t afford a plane ticket!

Q: What is Irish and stays on the lawn all summer?
A: Paddy O’ Furniture!

Q: When is an Irish potato not an Irish potato?
A: When it’s a French fry!

Q: Where can you always find gold?
A: In the dictionary!

Q: What kind of bow cannot be tied?
A: A rainbow!

Q: What happens when a leprechaun falls into a river?
A: He gets wet!

Q: Why do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day?
A: Real rocks are too heavy!

Q: Why would you never iron a four leaf clover?                                                              
A: Because you shouldn’t press your luck!                                                           
Q: What job does a leprechaun have at a restaurant?                                    
A: Short-order cook!              
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Irish who?
Irish you a happy St. Patrick's Day!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Note to Self...

I found this little shamrock planting kit for $1 at Target back in March, and I thought it would be a an easy activity for Brett to do with Logan while I took Mia to a birthday party. As expected, the seeds started to sprout quickly, which is always good for planting with kids. The only problem is that there was only one leaf on each stem for the longest time, and I wish I had know that sooner. (The packaging was not particularly helpful with the timetable for germination or anything along that line, but again, it was very inexpensive, so I can hardly complain.) It turns out that it takes about four weeks for the sprouts to actually form three leaves and look like recognizable shamrocks! So, our shamrock seeds, which were planted just one week before St. Patrick's Day didn't really look like shamrocks until we got into April. For future reference, plan to plant shamrock seeds just after Valentine's Day to avoid this.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Cookies

Recently I was thumbing through old magazines my mom gave me and tearing out ideas for future use when I came across a simple idea and wondered why I had not done this before: adding food coloring to the sugar cookie dough before baking. I think this came out of a 2 year old issue of Better Homes & Gardens, but I am not sure anymore. Normally, I get out our ingredients, mix up the dough, roll out our dough, cut out the cookies, wash the blades to the hand mixer and other bowls and utensils while cookies are baking, and then start a whole new mess mixing up a batch of frosting, but this avoids all that extra work (not to mention extra sugar, which face it, nobody in this family really needs). Smart right? Since I had just gotten the shamrock cookie cutter, this seemed like a good time to try it out, using green food coloring, of course.

My little kitchen helper and I used this recipe for cut-out cookies, which is a buttery cookie that is easy to cut out.
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix.
  2. In another bowl, stir the flour mixture, baking powder, and salt together. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend until smooth.
  3. I separated the dough into two balls since we were planning to make neon green and regular green cookies.
  4. This is the point when we added food coloring. My little helper added much more then we needed, about 10 or maybe even 12 drops when 3 would have been fine. No big deal, though. Then, I used the hand mixer to combine it all again.
  5. Then, I wrapped both balls of dough in plastic wrap and chilled them in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies and place on cookie sheet. (Tip: I like to cover mine with parchment paper first.) Add sugar sprinkles, if desired. We used green, and lots of them when my little man was in charge.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Makes about 2 dozen cut-out cookies.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Leprechauns Came

Last Friday, I couldn't go to bed until I crossed one last thing off of my to-do list: "Make sure the leprechauns come." Mia had been asking repeatedly when the leprechauns were going to come and bring her gold. Well, I didn't have any gold on hand, and I didn't want to run out in search of those gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins. I decided I needed to make something that would be cool enough to take place of gold. At first I wasn't sure what that could be, and then I remembered chatting with another dance mom on Tuesday who told me about making rainbow cupcakes for her daughter's birthday. It was a good time to give them a try. From the description she had given me on how to make the cupcakes, it sounded like it would take a little time, but wouldn't be too difficult. I didn't have a white cake boxed mix in the house, so I found a white cake recipe and tried it out. And I am so glad I did. This white cake recipe makes a moist, spongy cake that reminded me a sugar cookie, and most importantly in this case, it kept the food coloring nice and vibrant.

{Rainbow Colored Cake Mix}

How I Made My Cupcakes:
After making my white cake mix, I divided it into six bowls. Each bowl had about 3/4 cup cake mix in it. Then I added the food coloring. I used my regular McCormick liquid colors and just adjusted the amounts to reflect one sixth of a cake mix.I lined my muffin tin with silicone cupcake liners. 

Then, I poured a teaspoon of purple tinted cake mix into each cup. I spread it around as best I could. I had a small amount left over, which I saved.

Next came blue. Again, I used about a teaspoon for each except this time I didn't spread it around because I didn't want the colors to blend together.

The next layer is green.

After green comes yellow.

Follow that with orange.

Lastly, I topped them with red. By the end, I had realized that heaping teaspoons were the way to go because it was easier.

I had small amounts of each color remaining after filling my 12 muffin cups so I spread these into a casserole dish and made a small-ish sort of tie-dye cake along with my rainbow cupcakes.

I used Betty Crocker whipped frosting, which I had on hand already and then added star sprinkles for more color. If I hadn't had canned frosting available, I would have made this buttercream. (Honestly, I was glad I didn't need to, though, because it was after midnight before the leprechauns finished up.)

{The top view doesn't really show them to their best advantage.}

When it came to displaying the cupcakes, the leprechauns were kind of tired and running out of ideas, but I figured they would like green diapers best so I stacked them on the table next to the rainbow cupcakes.

These cupcakes turned out well. They were tasty and pretty. Mia was very excited to see that the leprechauns had come, and thankfully, she didn't even notice all of the colorful dirty dishes sitting in the sink. (Hey, I mentioned it was really late, right?)

{These cupcakes are worth the extra effort!}