Ducks 'n a Row

11 December 2016

Happiness Is Homemade Link Party

Welcome back to another great week at 
Happiness is Homemade Link Party!!!

We would like to let everyone know that Happiness is Homemade will be taking a Christmas break so we are able to spend time with our loved ones! We will be taking off December 18-December 31 and we will start out the New Year on January 1st with another great link party! Thank you, one and all, for coming over each week and spend time with us. We love looking at all your link ups! 

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!


Attention Ducks 'n a Row readers --- while Happiness Is Homemade is taking a break, we will be having 3 blog parties that first holiday week...
  1. Special holiday CRAFT and DECORATING party December 18th starting at 3am ET! 
  2. Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop: all of the family friendly posts that we love. Starts Tuesday Evening Dec. 20th 7pm ET.
  3. Our Recipe Sharing Party on Thursday Dec. 22nd 9am ET will feature holiday FOODS. 

If you are on my blog hop email list, you will hear about each party as they go live. If you are not getting the emails, this would be a great time to SIGN UP to get my blog hop email alerts!



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09 December 2016

Preschool Is Now So Much More Exciting

The opinions in this post are 100% my own - I did receive product from Oriental Trading to write this review. 

magnets, toys, learning, school, homeschool

I just love teaching preschool. My little kiddos are so much fun.  Every lesson is a new adventure - afterall, they are just 3 and 4 years old! The only hitch I was running into was that our centers were getting a bit repetitious. You can only do play dough, puzzles and dress up so many times without all of us getting a little bit bored. So, when Oriental Trading contacted me to ask if I would like to have some new toys for our classroom to write about, I got excited. No second thoughts... it was a great big "YES!"

toys, learning, preschool, science

It had been my secret desire to have some magnets for my kiddos to play with and Oriental Trading has lots of magnetic toys. Did I have fun shopping! I selected a colorful supply of magnetic upper case letters, a big set of assorted magnets and some Melissa & Doug nesting/stackable garages with matching wooden cars. My class was in for a treat!

I decided to introduce the new toys without combining them with much else. I wanted to see what they would do when left up to their imaginations.

kids, learning, STEM, school, homeschool, preschoolers

Using a big metal cookie sheet (metal is magnetic!) and my laminator, I created laminated sight words for my kids to use. The cookie sheet has several pieces of velcro on it and so do the backs of the sight words. My students could then sort through the magnetic upper case letters to recreate the word underneath the sight word: Dog, Bear, Flower... My assistant teacher, Jenny, helped them with that. By the end of the year, they should easily be doing it on their own. 

magnets, learning, fun, kids

Some of the students stayed right with the alphabet table, and others were drawn to the magnets (no pun intended!) The Super Magnet Lab set has so much variety, the youngsters tried all sorts of ways to connect them, draw them along with "magnetic power", hang them in the air... you name it! Zara, my other trusty assistant, was grateful for the powerful magnetic wands. My kids are great helpers but, even so, the cleanup would have been tedious if it weren't for those wands. 

In the future, I plan to create a sensory experience - perhaps a bin with dried beans in it for them to fish out magnetic "treasures" inside. Any suggestions of other ways we can use them?

The third station had the nesting and stackable garages with wooden cars. They are just great! It is interesting - I read some reviews online prior to ordering them that were a little mixed. One person was disappointed that the big cars cannot fit in every garage, for instance. I love that design. It helps the children to "measure up" the cars.  As they try them, they see that some are bigger and some are smaller. A learning experience! 

My kiddos stacked the garages and also put them on flat surfaces to create a little city that they could drive their cars through. Wonderful! And, in my opinion, the cardboard that the garages are made of is very sturdy. I would not recommend children standing on them but, otherwise, I expect they will last for quite some time. 

All I can say is, I am one happy camper with my Oriental Trading acquisitions. The shopping experience was quick and easy and my order was delivered to my home just a few days later. All in all, it went great from start to finish - and our preschool day just got so much more exciting! 

toys, learning, STEM, ECE

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08 December 2016

Cookie Swap Recipe Party

Welcome to the Recipe Sharing Party!
This week is a special week. We are celebrating the holidays by sharing cookie recipes!
Two cookie recipes apiece.
Yum and Pin all of them!

Save your other wonderful recipes for future recipe sharing parties....this week is cookies ONLY!
Spread the news to all your food blogging friends. It would be so great if we got 100+ cookie recipes this week!
#bloghop #foodlblog
Visit our co-hosts!

Here are our simple party rules...
  • Add up to TWO single recipe posts of your own that we have not seen....this is not a recipe collection or wise advice about nutrition, please. Share single recipes only... otherwise, Yummly will reject them - they only take one individual recipe at a timeNon-recipe posts will be deleted from our party.
  • Visit ALL of the others (Please bookmark this party to come back a few times for late-comers.)
  • Yum every recipe and Pin every recipe.
  • Why Yummly? It is a huge source of food blogging traffic.
  • To make it quicker, you may want to add a Yum button to your toolbar. How To Add A Yum Button
  • Please tweet and share our party to spread the news.
  • Thank you for coming to our party! 

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07 December 2016

Rolled Cookies - Cute Little Snowman Cookies with M&M Buttons

Simple to make - fun to bake - yummy to eat! Rolled sugar cookies are perfect anytime at all but especially for the holidays! I have made them in all sorts of shapes but these snowman cookies are my favorite. They are so easy - you don't have to be a baking genius to make them. Get the kids involved, dig in and have fun!

snowman cookies, Frosty the Snowman, Christmas cookies, sugar cookies, cutout cookies

Rolled Snowman Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Tub of vanilla frosting
Tub of dark chocolate frosting
Bag of MARS Milk Chocolate M&M's®s
Decorator frosting in little tubes

recipes, cookies, snowman cookies, rolled cookies, cutout cookies, Christmas

Preparing the Dough
Cream softened butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs and vanilla, mixing on medium speed.
Add baking powder, salt and flour (add flour one cup at a time) and blend.
Separate into two sections of dough.
Wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate 1 hour up to 24 hours.

Baking Directions
Preheat oven 400°
Lightly flour a clean counter.
Roll one section of dough, using a rolling pin, to about 1/2 inch thick.
Cut out with cookie cutters
Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 6-8 minutes till very lightly brown on the edges.
Cool completely.
Frost and decorate.

Snowman Cookie Decorations
Vanilla frosting: body and face
Dark chocolate frosting: top hat
Mini-chocolate chips: eyes
MARS Milk Chocolate M&M's®s: buttons and nose
Decorator frosting tubes: pink (mouth), red (band on hat), green (scarf)

Follow My COOKIES Pinterest Board


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06 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop #203

Happy Holidays!
holiday blog hop
We are so glad you're here! Plan on partying throughout the holidays with us...we will be here, waiting expectantly to see what delightful treats and creative ideas you have in store for us!

blogs, momblogger, blog traffic

May we encourage you to give the "gift of clicks" this week? When you visit a blogger's post, it is such a blessing. Receiving nice comments, pins, tweets, yums, likes and shares is like getting a GIFT! 

So, let's be givers and visit lots of posts this week  ... if you are short on time right now, come on back and be a blessing

Here are the most popular posts from last week...

Most Viewed

Editor's Pick(s)

And now let's get this party started! 
Here are our party rules...
  • Please follow our hosts on social media as you can. 
  • Please TWEET our party    ==TWEET HERE ==
  • Add as many of your family-friendly posts as you would like to. NO Etsy shops, adult sites or blog parties, please. 
  • Visit 2 or more others. Let them know you've been there! 
  • If you are NEW,  let us know in the comments so that we can follow you back. ♥  Help us find your posts - tell us what number they are!
Sinea of Ducks 'n a Row

Saira from Mom Resources and Bath Time Fun Time

Tammy of My Life Abundant

Heidi Jo of Simplee Thrifty

Kim of 2JustByou

Marilyn of Marilyn’s Treats

Candace of Musings Of Candace Jean

Jennifer of Engineer Mommy

   Cindy of Simple Steps For Living Life 

Nikki of Silly Fun Momma 

Follow us on PINTEREST!
Ducks 'n a RowWonderful Wednesday Blog Hop FavoritesFollow On  

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