Monday, July 18, 2011

End of an era

I've been doing this blog for about two years now, and it has been a lot of fun. It's motivated me to try new things, to take more pictures, and to create fun projects. But lately, life has been uber busy and I feel like the time I am putting into the blog is time that would be better spent someplace else. Like actually enjoying the three little people that I share my days with. I have felt strongly that I need to better focus my attention on my duties as a mother, and am therefore calling it quits with the blog.
I will still leave the blog up in case there are certain ideas you might want access to, but I won't be posting. You can follow me on Pinterest if you want to see what I am excited about at the moment. I will also continue writing for, so you can find me there.
Thanks for all your support!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Camp I: Colors and Tie Dye

Remember my fabulous idea to create a summer camp in our neighborhood? Well, I'm happy to report that it is AWESOME!
I thought I'd share with you some of things we did a couple weeks ago when I was in charge. I chose to do tie dye because I love tie dye. It all stems from my summer spent as a camp counselor. We had each group of girls for a week, and at some point in the week we would always tie dye. Usually campers don't pack their cutest clothes, so it was never a big deal to tie dye an old T shirt. And, as often happens with young teenage girls, things would get a little crazy until we were tie dying socks, underwear, and bras. And leaving them flapping in the breeze on the Quakie outside our cabin to dry.
So I love tie dye.
 I decided to do a full-on colors theme for my summer camp group. We started out drawing rainbows, then read "A Bad Case of the Stripes" by David Shannon. This story is so cute and the kids loved seeing Camilla Creme's skin change on every page.

 Then we did a few science experiments. The first was to observe how quickly the color comes off candies like M&Ms and Skittles. Fill a little saucer with water, place a candy in it, then dip a strip of coffee filter in the water. The book I checked out from the library made it sound like the color would creep up really fast, but it actually took some time.
We also did a fun experiment where you fill a pie dish with milk, then add drops of food coloring all over the place. Don't mix it! Just add a drop of dish detergent and see what happens. The colors mix on their own and it really was pretty impressive. The kids also had fun blowing on it to make the colors mix more.

 Finally, time for tie dye! I just bought a kit from JoAnn, which included squirt bottles. These were great because they helped the kids control where they wanted the color, and it cut down on the mess. I had them tie rubber bands on their shirts too, to create those fun tie dye lines. 
 Squirt, squirt, squirt!

After they finished, I wrapped each kid's shirt in a plastic bag. They were supposed to dry for 8 hours then go in the washer, which I did at home to save all the moms the headache. They turned out so cute!

You can also make tie dye cupcakes, but beware, they may change the color of your kids' potty messes for a few days!
We did a scaled down version of this color theme for my little one's birthday party later that weekend and it was also a hit. I think tie dye works best for kids over 5, but littler ones love to color, paint, etc.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Things I Love Thursday: Shave Ice

Pregnancy and summertime are not the world's best combination. I am hot ALL THE TIME. Luckily, just down the road is a shave ice stand, and man, do I love that stuff.
In the past, I was a bit of a snow cone snob. As a teenager I spent one grueling summer slaving away at the Snow Shack, stuck in a blue metal box and surrounded by sticky sweet syrups. (Imagine how grueling it really was to sit on my duff eating snocones all day. I was addicted to playing all the contests on the radio, and even won a CD and a pair of concert tickets. To the B52s, which I did not attend but I heard was a pretty wild party.) Anyway, I grew to love the snocone and to feel a bit of maternal instinct regarding its' production and consumption. I can't believe some people make snocones without poking a hole with the straw first for the syrup to run down. Sheesh.
So for a long time I would not venture away from the traditional snocone. But now I've tried the shave ice, and I must admit, it is a thousand times better. According to wikipedia,

"Shave ice or Hawaiian shave ice is an ice-based dessert made by shaving a block of ice. While the product can resemble a snow cone, snow cones are made with crushed, rather than shaved, ice.
Shaving produces a very fine ice that appears snow-like. This extremely fine texture causes syrups added to it to be absorbed by the ice rather than simply surrounding."
So now you know. Somehow shaving the ice makes it taste better. And that is just what I need on days like today. Or like the other night when I was at my girl's Tball game and 5 different people within the space of 20 minutes came up to me and said, "Wow, you must be so hot." It's true, I was hot, and I used their comment as an excuse to get a little frozen treat on the way home.