Thursday, July 28, 2011

What I Have Been Up To

I still haven't fully gotten back into cooking, although I did make Spaghetti with Fried Eggs and Bread Crumbs last night and it may have been the push I needed to plan my menus.  So simple, but SOOOOO very good.  If you like runny egg yolks, you have to try it.

I am teaching a new preschool class next year (VPK, which is 4's and 5's) and have been spending lots of time getting things ready for my room.  As you can tell, we are the hippos.  Finding hippo themed items for the classroom is not easy, so I  painted center signs myself. 

And painted tote bag after tote bag.  I can do these in my sleep, but thankfully I am done.

I have a lot of classroom to cover, so more hippo crafts to come :)

I want to take my mom to The Creative Connection!

I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to attend BlogHer Handmade and The Creative Connection Event with my mother.  As you know, my blog is a little bit about everything my mom has taught me through the years, cooking, crafting, sewing, etc. and it makes up a lot of who I am, and what I am trying to teach my own girls.   This conference would get me inspired! 

I don't get to spend a lot of time with my mom.  She lives in St. Paul (coincidentally, where the conference is being held) and I live in Florida.  When we are up there to visit it is with the entire family, which means lots of grandma time, not so much mom/daughter time.  It would be amazing to spend the weekend just her and I learning about the things we both love.  And come on, have you ever experienced fall time in the Midwest?  My FAVORITE season....jeans, sweaters, and mittens - something I never get down here.

I am writing this post as an entry to win 2 passes.  If you would like to attend the conference with someone you love, go enter HERE!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Free Pizza?!?! (and the GOOD kind!)

Event Details:

Date - August 4th, 2011
What - FREE* FRESCHETTA® By The Slice pizza event
Where - From the comfort of your own home

FRESCHETTA® will be giving away thousands of slices of our delicious By The Slice pizza in a special live online event. The FRESCHETTA® By The Slice pizza will be given away in 5,000 increments every half hour. There will also be fun, interactive contests where you can win additional coupons.

On Thursday July 28th, 2011 the website will be available for you to sign up for a reminder email and view a preview of the events to come with host Mike Rylander. On August 4th the reminder email will be sent to those that signed up, and the event will be live at 11 AM on this day for all to sign up! This event is a great way to try out FRESCHETTA® By The Slice and get to do so for FREE!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I just haven't been cooking much this summer.  We have been away 5 out of the 6 weeks and getting back into cooking isn't going so well.  I've been eating lots of cereal and have discovered a new way to enjoy it.  I just took this Blueberry Sauce out of the freezer and have been enjoying a scoop of it in my cereal.  SOOO very good.  The hint of orange makes it over the top good.  It turns my milk (almond milk - another YUM) blueberry/purple.  Fun :) 

Do you have any weird add-ins that are oh-so-good??

I am also making some crock pot yogurt so I can use the blueberry sauce that way.  Don't ask me why I'm not using fresh blueberries at this time of year.  I guess we have reserved those just for snacking handfuls.....and making more blueberry sauce!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Little Gasparilla Island

My in-laws just had their 50th wedding anniversary and to celebrate the entire family spent a week on "Gilligan's Island" - more commonly known as Little Gasparilla Island.   There are no cars, stores, restaurants, etc. on the island so the ferry was our lifeline.  It took Scarlett a while to understand that the "fairy" was not going to fly us over to the island.  We packed pretty much everything we needed but did have to make a few trips to mainland to pick up more groceries.   We stayed in condos (which Scarlett called condors) right next door to the star in the above photo.   Beautiful!

There were so many shells!  The Gulf coast is known for it's shells and this island didn't disappoint.  Sanibel and Captiva were just south of where we were. 
The sand bar right off the coast was full of sand dollars.  It was an easy swim from shore.  At times all 12 grandchildren where out there.  There were a few days that the water was very calm and tide very low which made for easy sand dollar finding.  We also found sea stars, conchs, and clams.  So fun to look at nature up close.  Three of the mornings that I ran, when the ocean was calm, dolphins surfaced not 40 feet from shore (in between the shore and the sand bar).  I am positive they can see on shore because each time they would come up parallel to me and swim along with me as I ran.  If that isn't motivation to get up and run each day, I'm not sure what is!

 We also found shark's teeth.  Lots and lots of them in all different shapes, colors and sizes.  You could find one every foot if you looked enough.  I can't imagine how there are so many in one place but this was a great place to find them. 

There was a full moon on the last night which lit up the sky.  We were hoping to go out to try and see baby sea turtles hatching but never made it.  The next morning I looked at the nests around the condo but none were disturbed, so I don't think we missed it.

We had a perfect week with family and made many memories.  I hope to take our family there for OUR 50th anniversary :)

Music That Moves Me Monday

The entire family got hooked on this song while we were up in Minnesota.  The stations up there really do play a lot of different stuff.   You just cannot be in a bad mood while listening to this.   Jamie Grace, Hold Me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Repurposed Sweater Pencil Bag

The Repurposed Sweater Pencil Bag

I saved this baby sweater because I loved the colors and figured I would find something to make with it. Bigs needed a pencil bag for next fall and she chose this from the fabric scraps presented to her. It's a little longer than a normal pencil bag because I didn't want to have to restitch the side seam. I cut the bottom off the sweater, stitched the cut side together, did the little wrap around stitch so the sweater won't come undone, then sewed the zipper in.  It turned out cute and I still have plenty of sweater left :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Better Homes and Gardens from 1969

When we were visiting my parents my mom had me go through all these Better Homes and Gardens she had saved from the late 60's and early 70's.  I loved looking at them.  They made every food item in a mold.  There's just something about a meat mold that doesn't appeal to me.  Most of the ads were selling convenience foods (lots of cake and pasta mixes), diet foods, carpeting or more efficient appliances.  Take a look at a few of my favorites (although I didn't not remember to take the Flame Thrower ad - a flame stick that was used to trim edges and deice walkways).

This SPAM ad cracks me up.  Do you see the SPAM pizza?  Oh, yum.  Kabobs?  They are going out on a limb here trying to make SPAM a little elegant. Can you name SEVEN meats that might be in SPAM?  I don't even want to think about it.

They tried to get everyone to fully carpet their bathrooms and kitchens.  Who thought this was a good idea?  Were the vibrant colors to mask all the stains and mildew?  Lots of the kitchen carpets had groovy patterns.  Functional?

Above is an article that highlighted foods that travel well.  How would you like the person your sitting next to to whip open a sandwich bag with this funky bacon wrapped meat and egg loaf?  Think that would travel well?  I don't think it would make you very popular with the other people in the airplane.

Crazy get-slim-quick ploys were prevalent.  Look at these sweet Trim Jeans.  That woman is sitting there leisurely reducing her waist, tummy, hips, and thighs!  It's a miracle! 

Funny slogans.  Don't judge him by his length....But can we judge him by his collar and how many buttons are left undone?

Really, my mother actually HAS these Pyrex dishes.  We used the one in the front with the daisy print top several times while I was there.  Gotta love the colors.  And apparently very durable.

Beer can decor.  Don't laugh, my parents made these end tables when my dad worked for Grain Belt back in the early 70's (?).  They still sit in their basement.  Memories.....(OK, you can laugh!).  I have to admit that they are dear to my heart.

And would you believe that the article titles could have been right out of a magazine today?  Nothing has changed except the quality of pictures.  If you are in Florida and follow education at all, you will appreciate this.  How is it that we are STILL talking about the exact same stuff?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

City Museum in St. Louis

Thanks to a very helpful server at Joe Buck's in St. Louis, MO, we found the hands-down best museum for kids I have ever been to.  It's called City Museum and it was awesome!

I have to start out saying that the pictures do not do it justice.  The museum is housed in an old warehouse and they have embellished every inch in some creative way.   Do you see the bus hanging off the roof?  You can go in it and look at a great panoramic view of the city.  The outside park was closed the day we went but there are tons of crawlspaces, ball pits, airplanes (!) to climb around.

 Beware: this place is FULL of places that people with a fear of heights do not want to venture.

After climbing up 12 flights of stairs (there was a line for the elevator) we found ourselves on the rooftop park.  The first thing the girls head to is this REALLY steep slide.  When Little Bit made it half way up the rope it was too steep for her to climb any higher.  I had to maneuver my way around all the kids on the rope behind her, thinking I would carry her to the top.  WAY TOO STEEP and way too slippery.  I put her on my lap where we were and slid down the best we could.  That was enough for me but not enough for her.  Luckily there were also steps to the top.  She could have done this all day long.  Just looking down the slide from the top made me a little queasy. 

There was a Farris wheel on the roof as well.  I can imagine the view was fantastic.  We'll just have to keep  imagining.
This white thing is a long slide....with a giant preying mantis on the top.  Cool!

Throughout the entire museum were these crawling tubes.  Some you could tell where they went (over top of the giant stairwell, meaning there is nothing but space underneath you) or into the unknown.  Call me a little free-range parenty, but it was kinda cool that you had no idea where you would come down once you went up.  This place is not for the helicopter parent who cannot keep close tabs on your kids.  You just gotta have faith that once they go up they will come down (most likely in a completely different place).  

There was a train ride and miniature train village, toddler area, hands on arts and crafts, boardless skate park, the largest pencil in the world, circus school, huge walk-in vault, hall of mirrors that looked like a kaleidoscope, caves, ponds, and SO MANY other things that I cannot remember.  Such an eclectic mix of exhibits.  The people that made this happen are some amazing folks.

A giant hamster wheel.  What's not fun about that?

Because the pictures just cannot show you all the creativity and fun involved, you will just have to make the trip for yourself.  I promise, this is well worth it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Music That Moves Me Monday

Love this song by Chris Tomlin, I Lift My Hands.  Can't get enough of it!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Winner and I've learned something new!

I've always wondered how to get the random number generator from in a post, and thanks to Thanks, Mail Carrier and her easy to follow tutorial, I've done it!  WooHoo for exanding my knowledge base :)  Even if it's a little late! 

But on to the real news....Congratulations tiffanykohn, you are the winner of the Box Tops University Gift Pack!  I have sent you an email. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Science for Little Ones

Mimi got this little science kit for her birthday.  It's a lot of mixing colors and using the super absorbent gel for making concoctions with stuff around the house.  Fun.  I love that she asks to do it every day.  I need to find more science stuff to keep her interest sparked. 

Little Bit wanted to play with the droppers and dye so badly that I made her own little kit in an egg carton.  I gave her the primary colors and three eye droppers.  She loved getting to "do science" like her big sister :)  I don't know why I forget about the easy stuff that is so much fun for them.  I need to make a reminder list of easy things for wee ones to do in a pinch!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Way to Connect 4

Little Bit loves to play Connect 4.  We can play 15 to 20 games in a row.  The problem is, she doesn't get the concept of the game.  She likes to take turns (great skill) and fill the entire board up, then poke each one out the bottom.  So I am not completely bored, I try to get as many four in a rows, while not allowing her to get any.  LOL.  Sounds easy but it's not.  I try to make these game marathons interesting! 

Yesterday I just couldn't play another game so I tried to get her to make patterns with the pieces instead.  She liked it.  I then tried to do some freehand shapes with her but it was a bit too much, so instead I drew the shapes on paper so she could follow the outline.   It worked well.  She would make the shape and tell me what it was.  We even got some math in there for the making the square (I put X's on the square outline so she would know how many to put on each side).

Do you re purpose the games at your house?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fresh Veggies Have #BoxTops

Did you know that starting this year, FRESH vegetables will have box tops on the package??  Green Giant has box tops on some frozen veggies and have added their fresh veggies as well.  Soon they hope to get box tops on canned beans and corn. 
In the Target mailer I received yesterday there was a coupon for $1 off 4 Green Giant Fresh produce items.  Very Nice!