Craft Day: Mail Carrier Bags

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Olivia delivering mail from her hand made carrier bag.

This week’s pre-dinner craft with the grandkids were mail carrier bags made from recycled grocery bags. I cut off the top portion of the bag (to acccommadate their size) and punched holes on each side of the bag. A piece of twine was threaded through the holes. The twine ends were knotted and secured in place with packing tape.

Supplies are assembled.I happen to have plenty of shipping stickers since my business ships daily. I dispensed a few of those along with stamps and mailing labels I printed online.

With scissors and double sided tape in hand, the kids decorated their carrier bags and filled them with junk mail I had saved. I also gave them envelopes to address. They filled the envelope with papers that were earmarked for the trash.

 My three-year old grandson cutting out his postage stamps.

I recycled small postal boxes and the kids stuff small goodies into them and taped closed. I never thought I could find a use for the massive amount of  junk mail I receive. This project recycles some of that paper, if only for a brief time.

My grand kids [age 3, 5 and 8] played with their mail carrier bags while I prepared dinner. We are storing them for future play time.

Fischer stuffing his bag with mail.

Shakshuka: Blimpy Girl Style

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Shakshuka: Blimpy Girl StyleIf you’re not familiar with Shakshuka, let me inform. This incredible dish is Mediterranean in style and consists of eggs cooked on top of a spicy tomato base. You can add so many different ingredient types to this dish which is why I embrace it.

Plated serving of Shakshuka.Shakshuka (pronouced shahk-SHOO-kah) can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It makes an ideal brunch dish when served with fresh fruit, pita bread and hummus on the side. If you have a vegetable and herb garden, this is a must-have recipe. If you raise chickens for their eggs, you would be stupid-o to not have this recipe on file.

Shakshuka sauce simmering on the stove top.My Blimpy Girl recipe version includes fried potatoes, shredded zucchini, chopped spinach and diced garlic. The hash browns are topped with shredded low-fat sharp cheddar.

I prefer to use fresh diced tomatoes. Some recipes call for canned tomatoes. I guess it’s a matter of time and convenience. But if you have garden tomatoes, why not use them?

My choice of seasonings included cumin, paprika, parsley and salt/pepper. These are all fairly standard additions to the Shakshuka sauce base. I’m awaiting feedback from my daughter as this was her lunch today. My honey-man, the wine guy, can be very particular about what he eats. His tasting palate far surpasses mine, but this dishI may score point with him.

Spread the tomato based Shakshuka over the fried potatoes.You can use freshly grated red skin potatoes, or cheat (like I did) and use dehydrated hash browns. Both work equally well in my opinion.

Now let’s talk calories. Potatoes, eggs, cheese, sauce… it still only adds up to 270 to 280 calories per serving. It’s a pretty generous serving based on my appetite. Add side dishes as suggested and you may be up to 350 calories.


Protein, carbs, dairy, veggies and fruit all in one dish. Grab Recipe 

Leap Year Frog Puppet

The 2012 Leap Year fell on a Wednesday. I loved it because the grand kids stay every Wednesday for an overnight. As usual, Blimpy Girl, NeeNee, had a fun pre-dinner event planned.

Frog puppets were on the agenda. I had a device that allows you to record sounds. I recorded a croaking frog sound and then hid the recorder under the paper bag. Every time the kids tapped the counter, the frog would croak. They loved it!

Twelve frog heads were hidden around the house for the kids to find. Three of those were marked for special prizes. This week there were no monetary prizes. Instead the kids searched for three coupons:

  • I get to pick the movie for the night
  • I get a special NeeNee and Poppy day
  • I get to pick who I want to sleep with on my overnight stay (oddly enough, they fight over who gets to sleep with us).

 Here is the printable paper bag puppet. Hope your little peeps enjoy it as much as mine did. I also included a coloring page and maze.

Brown Bag Frog Puppet