This year we wanted to wear something a little different for the 4th of July, so we undertook this easy t-shirt craft after seeing a friend post a picture of her son wearing one. It takes only a few minutes apart from drying, & you can even “girlify” it with a little ribbon! I took sharp scissors & snipped small cuts in the shirt, either on the front pocket, or around the neck. Just make sure you have an even number. Thread the ribbon through & tie into a pretty knot or bow, then squeeze a little hot glue inside the knot to keep it from untying in the wash. Now, if your little girl has an abnormally large head like mine does, you may want to snip the ribbon where it doesn’t show & safety-pin it after she pulls it over her head. Didn’t think about the fact that it needed to stretch… Whoops!
Now on to painting!
What you need:
- kid-sized white t-shirt (I got mine at Target for $5 each)
- red & blue paint (you can use fabric paint, but acrylic is so much cheaper–usually less than 50 cents a bottle–& I’ll show you how to heat-set it at the end for the wash)
- 1″ foam brush
- 2 paper plates
What to do:
- Squeeze a generous amount of your blue paint onto one paper plate & spread it around.
- Place your child’s left hand in the paint, coating well. Then carefully help her stamp her hand, fingers outstretched, on the left side of the shirt. Clean off her hand &, if she’s young, let her go play while you do the rest. (By the way, 14 months may be a tad young for this craft; my little one kept squelching her fingers together & I had to spread them myself.)
- Squeeze some red paint onto the other paper plate & use your foam brush to paint stripes next to the handprint. The foam helps keep the stripes a nice uniform width. Paint as many stripes as you think look good!
- To heat-set: When the paint is completely dry, place a doubled-up paper towel inside the shirt & on top of the painted part, then iron on the cotton setting (high heat) for about a minute. Now you can wash it after they wear it!
If you’re looking for a place to wear your new shirts, how about organizing an indoor “parade” through a nursing home? That’s what we did yesterday, & it was a wonderful experience. We rounded up some friends from our MOMS Club, decorated up our wagons, waved some little flags, & played “Stars & Stripes Forever” on repeat on my iPhone with some little speakers as we marched through the halls. The residents were very appreciative of visitors, & it was a great experience for the kids! They loved marching & getting so much attention, & it was a great teaching moment about how good service can make us feel. My 4-year-old kept saying, “Mommy, they’re so happy to see me!”
Where will you wear your patriotic shirts?
Happy Flag Day! It’s actually tomorrow, but I’ve been so excited to share this recipe that I couldn’t wait one more day. Flag Day, every June 14, celebrates the day in 1777 that the Second Continental Congress adopted the American Flag. Though it’s not a national holiday, it’s a significant day in our nation’s history, & especially since it falls just about halfway between Memorial Day & Independence Day, it’s a great day to feel a little more patriotic!
That’s why I’m sharing this potato salad with you.
Summer seems to be the “official season” of potato salad, with all of its picnics & potlucks, but those pesky health code restrictions kind of get in the way, don’t they? Keep it cold. Don’t let any potato salad with eggs in it sit out for too long. Etc. That’s why this is the perfect potato salad! Number one, it’s not made with eggs, so you don’t have to worry about it spoiling. Number two, it’s actually designed to be served warm (even though it still tastes great cold), so it’s just fine at a picnic on a hot day! I thought you couldn’t get any more perfect than that… until I realized I could make it red, white, & blue.
You can buy blue potatoes at most higher-end supermarkets — I got a bag of reds, blues, & a few Yukon Golds at Whole Foods. Blue potatoes are fun, tasty (a little heartier than a standard new potato), & will be a great conversation-starter at your next potluck!
Those of you who’ve been around here for awhile may recognize this recipe as the potato salad served alongside these slow-cooker-braised chicken thighs. I just swapped in some blue potatoes, served it with my mom’s BBQ beef sandwiches, & had a whole new meal!
Perfect Patriotic Picnic Potato Salad
- Shallot Vinaigrette, to taste (below)
- 20 small assorted red & blue potatoes, quartered (or halved, if your blues are especially tiny like mine were)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- a few shakes or grinds black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- In a small bowl, whisk together all but the last of the Shallot Vinaigrette ingredients. Whisk in the oil until emulsified. Cover bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to use (no longer than an hour; it’ll separate).
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan or stock pot with enough salted water to cover, & bring just to boil on medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, 8 min. or until tender.
- Drain & transfer to a serving bowl. While still hot, drizzle with 1/3 to 1/2 cup (or to taste, but start small & work your way up) Shallot Vinaigrette (you may need to whisk it again if it separated) & toss to coat. The smell as the dressing hits the hot potatoes is amazing!
- Let cool slightly, then add cherry tomatoes & oregano. Toss to coat.
- Serve warm immediately (it tastes best this way) or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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