Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Activities

My kids are so full of energy all the time that we have to be creative with them. In the summer they love to play outside, but they also have to have some kind of schedule. If the don't, they get bored because there is nothing to follow and they feel there is nothing to do. So we created a Summer List and also a Summer Schedule.

This is our Summer List:
Water gun fight
Nerf fight
Make homemade ice cream
Camp in the backyard
Go to a Water Park
Go to Legoland
Go to the Zoo
Work in the house
Work to earn some money
Create our own holiday
Make a bird feeder
Chill and hang out lots and lots!!!

In the schedule I make sure there is enough play time. Usually they get up, have breakfast and we do a little bit of school (so they do not feel totally spaced out the first week of school). My oldest loves this.Then it is play time.Sometimes they play Wii (they are not allowed to play every day, and they Wii is actually a privilege, so it HAS TO BE EARNED depending on what the chore chart looks like!) or they play Legos, building forts, Hot Wheels, etc. Then at noon we have lunch and then it is "resting time," consisting of a quiet movie or a good book, laying on the floor with their pillow pets. I sometimes read with them. After resting time it is play time again, and they usually play outside with the sprinklers and the slip n' slide. We have dinner and then it is family time, we go for a walk, or do something in the house. After that it is shower time, reading scriptures and bed (we are bad at this one, sometimes bed time gets kind of late!)

I found out that my kids love to be organized and have something they can look at and know what they are supposed to do (that even includes a chore chart). So every month we do a theme of study (for school or reading time) that they pick out. June is History, so we have been going to the library and reading books about the history of the country. At the end of the month we will do a timetable and my oldest wants to do a presentation (to dad, I guess!) July is science and August is animals. They cannot stop learning. I tell them often how great is to be a child and create, imagine and explore.

We created a plan for every day of the week:
Monday: Backyard adventures (they plan and explore in the backyard, usually involves having fun with water)
Tuesday: Pool Day
Wednesday: mom works
Thursday: Park day ( we go to a different playground/ parks a week)
Friday: Library day, pizza and movie night
Saturday: family fun
Sunday: Family time day
This does not mean that we spend the whole day doing this, just part of the morning/afternoon.

Here are some pictures of the fun times:

 With a friend:
And here are some more ideas:

  1. Create your own board game
  2. Make "move night" in the back yard
  3. Make slime
  4. Make pudding paint (pudding + food coloring)
  5. Make a garden
  6. Play charades
  7. Camp in the backyard
  8. Find constellations or look at the stars at night
  9. Go to a "field trip" to a factory, pizzeria, etc
  10. Let them be chefs and cook a new recipe (even if it is gross...)
  11. Make plastic bottles rockets
  12. Make a baking soda volcano 
  13. Go to a dollar movie
  14. do a Pinewood Derby with legos
  15. Make homemade ice cream
  16. Don't forget the LIBRARY story time!
  17. Check your local home improvement store and see if they have kids projects on Saturdays!
  18. Make a kite and fly it in the park
  19. Plant a vegetable you have not eaten before
  20. Make lunch sack puppets
  21. Make your own bubble solution (recipe coming in future post!)
  22. Have a water gun fight
  23. Have an Olympics day in the back yard with different stations (baseball, soccer, etc) 
  24. Make a movie
  25. Go fishing
  26. Go on a hike
  27. Go on a bike hike
  28. Make a lemonade stand to raise money for charity
  29. Give them jobs to do and pay them some money so they learn how to save
  30. Once in a while, have a lazy day
  31. Make your own stuffed animal
  32. Using big boxes, let them build their own house and decorate it inside using pictures of magazines, crayons, etc
  33. Create a music band using home made instruments!
  34. Go on a picnic
  35. Make sculpts using home made clay (more to come in another post)
  36. Make jewelry using dry pasta
  37. Play with home made Moon Sand (Recipe to come)
  38. Make own caramel candy
  39. Have a international day and cook foods from another countries
  40. Have a party and let your guests bring non perishable items to donate to a local pantry
  41. Learn words in another language
  42. Have a pajama day
  43. Make a wind chime using soda pop lids
  44. Write a comic book
  45. Make your own crayons
  46. Do a Christmas in July and exchange gifts from the Goodwill
  47. Do something nice for somebody else. Example volunteer to clean grandma's garage, etc
  48. Make no sew "reading blanket" 
  49. Enjoy the beach!!!
  50. Make boats out or left over containers: soda pop, water bottles, juice boxes, and have a race in the tub or inflatable pool
I hope you like these ideas. The most important thing really is not WHAT you do but that you SPEND QUALITY TIME with yous kids! It does not have to be extraordinary. They sure will enjoy just reading a good book or they having your attention while they play in the inflatable pool.
Stay tuned! I'll be posting pictures and recipes of our "science projects"!!!!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Easy Subway Art

I wanted to create a Subway Art for my boy's room, but since I do not have a Silhouette (despite my efforts in convincing Santa I needed it) I had to get a little creative. I went to shop at Michaels and there were nice sets of letter stickers on sale (less than a dollar) and canvases were 50% off. My mind started spinning again. I knew what to do!
I basically put the sticker letters on the canvas and really secured them rubbing a credit card on the surface.

I then spray painted with black paint.The key here is to spray a little and let it dry, otherwise it might bleed. Mine bled a little bit, you can correct it using a paint brush and white acrylic paint, but I kind of liked the "vintage" look it gave it. You can also give it a coat of antiquing glaze.

Let it dry. Peel stickers and you are all done!

 Really easy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Everyday Apron

I really love baking, but I do not like to have flour all over my tummy! I really needed an apron (my old one was too old and stained) and I decided to sew my own, since it seemed pretty easy. Well, it was! I used my old apron as a guide.

 I wanted to use two different kinds of fabric, so I used the polka dots fabric for the top and the ruffles, and the flower fabric for the skirt part. I first traced the top with a pencil and cut the fabric.
This is how it looked like after it was cut. I then ironed a seam allowance (about 1 cm) and sewed it.

The skirt part was easy. I used a yard of fabric (remember that when you do ruffles you have to multiply your size by 2). I sewed a hem and then used the regular ruffle method. I sewed one line close to the top edge using the biggest stitch, and leaving plenty of thread to pull on both ends. I did a back stitch at the beginning but not at the end. I then sewed another line using exactly the same technique, about 1 cm below the first one. I then pulled the ends and fixed the ruffles, gathering them. I decided to secure the ruffles by sewing on top of them.

I then gathered both hems (from the top and the skirt) and sewed them (remember now to lower your stitch length!) Make sure you open the final hem and iron to secure. I also cut 2 pieces of fabric of about 25 cm by 6 cm each and 2 more of about 50 cm x 6cm and sewed them on the reverse side, so they looked like a tube. I turned them inside out and sewed one end of them by just turning that edge inside in and sewing on top. I sewed the other end to to apron. Those would be the ties for the neck and the waist (sorry I do not have a picture of this).
I then did the bottom ruffles the exact way I did the skirt except that I just cut a large rectangle. Same method. I sewed the bottom of the skirt and the ruffles. I opened the hem and ironed it.

Here is a close up of the ruffles:

I decided it needed something more so I manually sewed in some fabric flowers (sorry not the best picture!)

And here is one more picture:

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

For the Soul Sundays

“How might we have joy in our lives, despite all that we may face? Again from the scriptures: ‘Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you."

Thomas S. Monson

Friday, June 22, 2012

Groop Dealz Giveaway

Group Dealz is a boutique that sells everything from decor to jewelry at a fraction of the price! They are giving away nothing less than an AWESOME Nikon D3100 DSRL, If you want to participate, go HERE

Check out the store and you can also sign up for daily alerts! They have all the good stuff for cheaper!

Good Luck!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vacation to the West and Traveling Tips

We had a great time in out trip to the west. We attended our nephew's wedding in Logan, Utah. We stopped by Mount Rushmore on the way and let me tell you what an impressive thing it is! not only because of the brave men carved in the mountain, but because of the size, detail and time it took this artist to finally get it done perfectly (14 years!!!!)
Here are some pics of out vacation:

 We drove for two days going there and two more days coming back. The kids did wonderful, we were actually very surprised! Here are some tips for travelling long distances with small children (we traveled more than 3,000 miles!):

  • DVD's are wonderful! we bought a car DVD player set at Target for 99 dollars and brings two 7 inch TV's. They brought their favorite movies along
  • I packed a backpack for each with activities they like to do. For my 7 year old, there was his Kindle with books and games, history books about Mount Rushmore and the states we were visiting (from the library, just make sure you do not lose them!), addition and multiplication books, cursive letters practice books, crayons and paper. For my 5 year old he brought his Leap Frog, another game in which he can practice writing letters, preschool activity books, crayons, paper, coloring books and books with pictures, superheroes, etc. He brought two of his favorite toys. For my one year old, her dollies, crayons and paper and Dora Books.
  • We brought audio books from the library, Harry Potter and Charlotte's Web
  • They brought their pillow pets and blankies
  • TONS of snacks, they incuded: two laundry baskets, one with everyday snacks consisting of mandarin oranges, peaches cups, multigrain crakers, goldfish, granola bars, instant oatmeal (for a quick breakfast) tuna, bread, cereal PB, jelly, apples, bananas. Another basket with medications (my son has asthma, so we have to bring a nebulizer wherever we go) pain reliever, fever reducer, thermometer, Neosporin, bandaids, Pepto-bismol, Benadryl,Albuterol, diapers, wipes, paper plates, disposable utensils, napkins. In a cooler we brought water, string cheese, lunchmeats and grapes. Each one had a container for water and for snacks. 
  • We stopped if they got restless or needed a potty break or stretching and or diaper change.
  • We had a big dinner meal and a light lunch.
We had a blast!!! I hope you are enjoying this summer too!

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Vacation Time!

I won't be posting much this week if at all. We are going on a trip vacation and a wedding. I'll be posting pictures soon!

Decorating With What you Have

I am a true believer in reusing, recycling and spending little money from groceries, to decorating to clothes. Some people in my family ask me (and laugh a little too) how in the world I got that item for cheap, or they tell me "every time I go to the Goodwill I don't find anything for me." The clue is that you have to spend a little time SOME  time to really look around. When I go to the thrift store my mind gets spinning with all the possibilities and ideas (do you get the same feeling?) I just love it. I was going though the process of getting rid of some stuff from the basement  -which we plan on finishing soon- and I found a lovely frame that I had thought it was meant to be donated. Well, I had another one of those "mind spinning" moments that it could be used on Princess's room. I think this is self explanatory and I do nod need to post a tutorial...
It was just a plain cherry stained wood frame, in which I removed the glass and spray painted white. Hmmm... What else do I have in the craft room? Scrapbook paper?...check...Wooden letter?...check...Craft paint in yellow? CHECK!

I cut the scrapbook paper to the size of the frame, hot glued the letter, attached the back of the frame and hung it on the wall.

Could it get any simpler than this? My kind of project! Princess's room reveal coming soon!!!

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reuse and Recycle

I have been working on Princess's room for the last weeks. I got the Martha Stewart set of stencils at Hobby Lobby and I love them!

(picture from Amazon)
I absolutely love this set!

This is how the lamp looked like before:

It was not THAT bad but it does not match the decor of the room right now. I took off the flower stickers and the flower trim. I then applied the stencil and secured it with painters tape. I used acrylic paint in yellow and pink and a sponge brush, just "tapping" on the stencil so the paint would not bleed.

After they dried, they looked like this:

I then sprayed painted the bottom of the lamp with yellow spray paint.  I hot glued lace on the edges of the lamp shade. I bought it at Walmart for less than 3 dollars. I actually matches the lace from the pillow slipcover I made from an old shirt.

And Ta-Da!

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