Tag Archives: Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks: Resurrection Rolls

Talking to children about the real meaning of Christmas is easy. There’s a baby born in a stable with farm animals! Angels! Shepherds! SHEEP! Yes, the Christmas Story is quite kid-friendly.

The Easter Story is a little more difficult, however. In order to get to the happy part (Jesus Lives!) you have to tell the sad part–the part where Jesus dies on the cross because we are sinners. In reality, I think adults have much more trouble talking about death and sin than children do. Fortunately, there are ways to tell this story that are fun and also share the importance of Easter.

We read these Easter books to learn about Jesus’ death and Resurrection

One way is to bake Resurrection Rolls. I’m not sure where the original recipe comes from, but it has been floating around the internet for years.

To make them, you will need refrigerated crescent rolls, marshmallows, melted butter, and a mix of cinnamon and sugar.

Take the marshmallow, and explain that the marshmallow represents Jesus. (Since I actually did these steps with my children, I don’t have pictures. Oops!) Dip the marshmallow into the melted butter and roll it in the cinnamon sugar. This represents the oil and spices with which the women prepared Jesus’ body. Next, wrap the marshmallow with one triangle of crescent roll dough. This represents the cloth wrapped around Jesus’ body. Pinch the dough together well.

Bake the crescent rolls in the oven as directed on the package. The oven represents the tomb. (I kept forgetting this, and thinking that the crescent rolls were the tomb! Doesn’t the roll below look tomb-like?)


The marshmallow melts in the oven! Talk about the resurrection with your children, and how there was an empty tomb on Easter morning!

Of course, my children (who should know better) began to talk about how they were eating Jesus. They weren’t being disrespectful–after all, aren’t we given Jesus’ body and blood during Holy Communion?–and I gently reminded them what the roll represented.

Do you have any Easter activities you do with your kids? Share in the comments, please!

Link up any tips you’ve blogged about in the linky below. (They do not need to be Easter related.)


Tips and Tricks: Five Ways to Take Better Pictures of Your Kids

Today I am pleased to have my friend and professional photographer Tricia Schumaker as a guest. You can see examples of Tricia’s work on her photography blog, Wigglebug Photography. She named her photography business after her two sons, her “wigglebugs.”

5 Tips for taking better photos of your own Wigglebugs

5 photography tips
When was the last time you had professional portraits of your family taken? As a professional photographer and also the mother of two little boys, I believe that everyone should have professional portraits taken at least once a year. Let’s face it; this is the only way Mom is going to be in any of the photos. It might also be the only time everyone in the photo has a clean face–at least, that is true in my house.

As a mom, however, you also want to capture everyday moments as your family lives and grows. Here are a few tips that will help you be more successful in capturing those moments.

1. Leave your camera out.

That’s right, do NOT put your camera in that spiffy case and store it in the hall closet. Leave your camera out on your kitchen counter or a room you walk into everyday. When my boys were babies, I kept my camera in the bathroom! Now my camera sits on my kitchen counter or on my desk. Yes, my $4000 professional camera sits on my kitchen counter and this one thing has made me a MUCH better photographer. Why? Because I actually USE it! Taking lots of pictures is the best way to learn what works and what does not work. My kids are also used to me snapping a few pics as they eat their breakfast or put their shoes on. These are the everyday moments that make up life.

2. Consider your white balance.

Have you ever taken a picture and looked at the back of your camera (looking at this digital image is called “chimping”) and noticed that it was a goldish yellow or blueish color? This is because there is a problem with the White Balance. How do you fix it? Each camera is different but most point and shoot cameras or entry level DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras have different white balance modes. They are usually named something like “daylight,” “shade,” “incandescent” or “florescent”. Pick the one that is closest to the lighting situation you are in. If you are outdoors “shade” is the safest one to pick. If you are inside and there is lamplight or overhead light then you need to pick “incandescent” or “florescent.”

3. Use a fast shutter speed for photographing children.

Don’t know how to change the shutter speed on your camera? No problem. You can take advantage of the “scene modes” on your camera. There is probably a menu called scene mode. Choose the one with the picture of the child or the picture of the guy running (sport mode). These scene modes will automatically speed up your shutter and you’re less likely to get those blurry shots.

4. Pay attention to the light source.

A bright light source should not be behind your subject. Imagine you are in your kitchen and your son is holding his latest craft creation up for you to take a picture. If he is standing right in front of your sliding glass door, the sensor in the camera says, “Oh, this is bright, I do not need a flash.” Then you snap the photo and your son and his creation are very darkly shadowed and the light behind him is super bright. The easiest way to solve this problem is to move him to the side or perpendicular to the light. Now the door is your light source and your camera’s sensor can work to your advantage.

5. Just keep shooting.

Above all, have fun!

Wigglebug Photography

Thanks, Tricia, for sharing your tips with us!
P.S. These tip will work for pets, too!
Do you have any tips to share? Link them up below!


Tips and Tricks: Gentle Ring Cleaner

During the winter, the dry air and frequent hand washing drys out my skin terribly. In order to combat that dry skin, I put lotion on my hands constantly. But…I also never take off my rings. I don’t want to lose them, plus they are difficult to take off!

At one of my MOPS meetings, we cleaned our rings with a safe and easy formula. It made our rings sparkle!

club soda and Palmolive

1. Combine a little Palmolive with some club soda.
2. Soak your rings in the liquid for a couple of minutes.
3. Rinse off carefully.

ring cleaner

Do you have a tip or trick that makes life easier? Link it up below!

Tips and Tricks Guidelines:

  • Please link up a tip that you have personally tried.
  • If you have a pin on Pinterest that you would like to share, you may also link up the pin. Only link pin images that you have created yourself.
  • Would you like me to add you to the group Tips and Tricks Pinterest board? Tell me in the comments below!
  • Have fun–and like, share and pin the tips you find useful!

I’m linking up with the Mommy Club this week.

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Leak-Proof Ice Pack

I know today’s tip doesn’t sound exciting. Every weekday, however, I pack cold lunches for the girls to take to school. At the beginning of the year, I bought these cute little animal gel packs to keep their lunches cold. Emmy still has hers; but Lily’s gel pack wasn’t sealed properly and the gel started to leak out of it. I had to throw it away.

Ice in a Ziplock bag just melts and leaks all over. As an alternative, I sometimes freeze a yogurt tube. The frozen yogurt acts as an ice pack in my daughters’ lunch boxes, and the yogurt slowly thaws enough  to eat at lunchtime. But I can’t pack yogurt every day. The following tip sounded like the perfect solution to my ice pack problem when I spotted it on Pinterest.

I buy pop-up sponges from Trader Joe’s. They come in a package of 12 and are very thin. Just add water, and the sponges “pop up!” Lily and Emmy love popping up these sponges.

pop up sponge

To make an ice pack, all I did was saturate the sponge with water, slip it into a Ziplock bag and put it in the freezer overnight. In the morning I had the perfect sized ice pack.

ice pack

The idea is that as the ice melts, the sponge will soak up the water. I wasn’t positive it would work, but I was willing to give it a try. I put the frozen sponge in Lily’s lunch box, and asked her for a report when she got home.

Lily told me that the sponge was still cold at lunchtime and it hadn’t leaked at all! I put the sponge right back in the freezer, and I’m going to use it in the future to keep cheese sticks and applesauce cold in Lily and Emmy’s lunches.

Do you have a tip or trick that makes life easier? Link it up below!

Tips and Tricks Guidelines:

Please link up a tip that you have personally tried.
If you have a pin on Pinterest that you would like to share, you may also link up the pin. Only link pin images that you have created yourself.
Would you like me to add you to the group Tips and Tricks Pinterest board? Tell me in the comments below!
Be nice–like, share and pin the tips you find useful!


Tips and Tricks: Eyeliner

When I was in high school, I avoided using the bathrooms that had a cloud of smoke come out when you opened the door. I never did figure out how those girls got away with smoking in the girls’ room, but those girls had a secret weapon I didn’t have: lighters. Lighters were not only useful for smoking, but also for applying smooth and thick eyeliner.

I don’t wear much eyeliner, but every once in a while I like to put a little around my eyes. Using a lighter, however, just isn’t practical. I don’t remember where I read this simple trick. It’s so easy I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before!

Easy Eyeliner Trick

Use your hair dryer to soften your eyeliner! It works beautifully, and there’s no risk of getting a detention.

Are there any other easy make-up tricks I’m missing? Did you already know the hair dryer trick? Tell me in the comments below!

(By the way, a hair dryer also removes the fog from the mirror after a steamy shower–but I bet you knew that trick already.)


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