Monday, July 21, 2014

Make Your Own Panning for Gold Adventure Trip

I have been researching all types of fun summer trips to try. They all have one thing in common. They are expensive! One of the trips I was really excited about was the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. Kids can actually dig for real diamonds and keep what they find.
 
However, it was Sunday night, and I wanted somewhere I could go Monday while I was off. I was looking for a day trip. I decided to make my own summer adventure trip for only a few dollars.


I went out in our backyard and found three broken tree limbs. Then I hunted down three bandanas from our house for our lunches. I tied them up in Tom Sawyer style. The boys were very entertained by their lunch sacks.
 
 
Next, I found a free river at The Big Rocks Park in Glen Rose, Texas. I am pretty sure most of you can find a creek or something nearby that would suffice for your own gold mining or panning adventure.
 
Supplies:
Tin foil pans with holes poked in the bottom
Plastic gems
Gold Painted rocks (gold nuggets)
Treasure bags

 
Upon arrival at our "gold panning site," we let the boys use skewer sticks to poke holes in the their tin foil sleuce. I had prepared ziplock bags with dirt and treasures hidden inside.

 
I poured a bag in each child's handmade sleuce, and they got to work! Hopefully you can see the gold rocks in the pan above. They knew it was fake and they were still excited by their discoveries.

 
My youngest thought he hit the jack pot!

 
I also created small bags to hook on to their belts, for additional treasures they found. I got the idea from this months Family Fun Magazine. Click here for directions on their Explorer Bag. It is made out of a produce sack and duck tape. I made ours smaller, and then put clips on them, so the boys could wear them in the water without losing them. It made the perfect treasure pouch.

 
Even the little princess enjoyed the morning activities.
 
 
Sweet brothers! (No they don't always get along that well!) I think they truly enjoyed our day trip adventure!! Good luck planning your own.
 
 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Melon Jello Fruit Boats

I made one my favorite summer treats again last night. I guess it had been so long since I made them last that my boys thought it was a new treat again! That of course was an extra plus. These melon creations are the perfect way to get your little ones to consume a large quantity of fruit. I think my kiddos would have eaten every slice in the first sitting if I would have let them.

 
Ingredients: 1 melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, or small seedless watermelon)
2 (3 oz) packages of flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sliced fresh fruit

Directions:
Begin by cutting your melon in half and carefully scooping out the seeds. Shave a thin slice off the bottom of the melon so it will sit flat during preparation.


Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and then stir in the applesauce and fresh fruit. Divide the gelatin mixture equally into both melon halves.


I used blue gelatin with fresh strawberries and blackberries
 Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut into slices just before serving.


Place in Fridge

 
Slice into pieces and enjoy
The fruit flavors and jello combinations are endless. Enjoy! We sure did!
 



 

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

I must admit this is the most refreshing salad I have had in a long time! My kids even liked it! I have seen similar recipes for a few months, and I finally tried a variation of a recipe from Country Living Magazine. It was the perfect compliment to our dinner tonight.
 
I think it would be perfect for parties, baby showers, or any potluck event. I am always looking for something I can whip up last minute to bring to one of our family events. I think this watermelon-cucumber salad would be a real crowd pleaser.
 
 
Ingredients:
 
3 cups diced watermelon
1 thinly sliced cucumber
1 tbsp olive oil
Scant amount of Vinegar
Salt
Pepper
Feta Cheese
 
Directions:
 
1.Combine the first 6 ingredients and top with feta cheese
2. Enjoy!!
 
 
Here are our two new precious goats born this week. They are sweethearts.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Chick-fil-a Cow Appreciation Day *Free Meal*

For those of you that don't already know...today is Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a July 2014.
Click here for the official website. We have had several cow associated related costumes and attire in the past. This year, I made some simple capes for my three super heroes. I sewed a lightning bolt on the back, and attached some ribbon to tie around their neck. However, you could just as easily use press in tape or adhesive to whip up some of these capes!

 
 
Q: What is Cow Appreciation Day?
A: For one day only, black and white spots, cow bells and furry ears will be appropriate attire in the nation's second largest chicken chain. In celebration of July 11, Cow Appreciation Day, an unofficial – yet nationally recognized holiday, Chick-fil-A will award a free combo meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to any customer who comes to one of the chain's 1,200-plus restaurants fully dressed as a cow.
 
Q: What does "fully dressed as a cow" really mean?
A: "Fully dressed like a cow" means effort to be dressed like a cow from head to toe. "Partial cow attire" means just a cow accessory, such as a cow-printed hat, vest or purse.
 
Here are some of our past projects...
 
 
We just glued some black felt on a white t-shirt.
 
 
This was a fancier version of the cape we made in the past. I can't seem to find it though after our move 6 months ago!
 
 
Either way, the point is you can score some free Chick-fil-a today! They even have free printables on their website to make it really simple.
 

 
Good luck with your cow costumes! We must fly off now to Chick-fil-a to celebrate this special day!!
 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Vintage Ticket Booth Stand for a Carnival

Planning a carnival party or celebration? (P.S. If you are not...you should. It was the best party I have had yet. I will share more later!) This ticket booth was a simple and fast DIY creation. It proved perfect to greet our guests and hand out their favor sack with tickets to spend! I love all things vintage, because I don't have to be a perfectionist.


One of the birthday boys...in our homemade ticket booth.
 
 
 
It started when I saw a small section of fence leaning against our barn wall. It happened to have a worn out coat of white paint on it. I begged my husband to make a few small adjustments to turn it into a ticket window.
 
 
He cut out a window at child height for the boys. He framed it with 2x4's to support it. I think the easiest way to explain is with this picture of the back.
 
 
 
 
Next, my boys helped paint some red on the ticket booth. Remember, no need to be neat when you are going for a vintage look. The actual counter on the ticket booth was painted yellow by me.
 

 
Almost done...

 
This cute little sign attached to the front finished it off!
 

 
 
Welcome to the Carnival!! Enjoy!!

 
 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cilantro Lime Butter Grilled Corn

My husband cooked dinner this week and it was amazing! He grilled some corn on the cob that was so beautiful, I almost didn't want to eat it. Instead...what did I do first...what any blogger would do...take a picture!

 
Doesn't that look delicious!
 
Ingredients:
 
6 tbsp. butter softened
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
Corn on the cob (of course!)
 
Directions:
 
1. Begin by pulling the husks back towards the end and remove the inner silk. Return to original position.
 
2. Soak corn in cold water for 10 min.
 
3. Cook on grill approximately 10 minutes.
 
4. Peel back husks again and spread the cilantro-lime butter on the cob.
 
(Combine above ingredients in a food processor and pulse to create your butter)
 
 
Super easy and absolutely delicious corn on the cob! To be honest I would eat anything he cooked just so I don't have to. It is an extra plus that he enjoys cooking something new every once in a while. This meal was for our family of 5 so feel free to reduce the recipe as needed. Enjoy!

 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

DIY Board Game for Father's Day (Defend the Castle)

My boys were so excited about Father's Day this year. They have been making cards, planning breakfast in bed, and working on a play to perform. Somehow...they made all that happen this morning! It was priceless. I also helped them make a Castle board game with knights and princesses to play with their dad. They named the game Defend the Castle. I thought I would include our easy tutorial on how to make your own board game. Remember you can use any theme you want!
 
 
Supplies:
 
Old board game
Printed pictures
Modge Podge
Dice
 
Directions:
 
I think the easiest way to build a new board game is from an old board game. We had a cheap one from Dollar General we didn't play anymore. You could easily pick up one at a garage sale for $1-$2.
My boys decided on a castle theme. I googled castle images and they had the best time picking out their own castle for the board. (I had no idea how much FUN they would have making this!) 
 
 
We cut our images to fit the four corners of our game. Then I modge podged them on to the existing game. Remember, you can cover the entire game board or just replace parts of it.

 
Here is my son planning out his castle. (Such a serious look)

 
We used the little stands from the existing game and then selected knights and princesses to use as our board game pieces. If you don't have stands, I saw this cute idea below to personalize pieces.
 
Clever idea for creating personalized game pieces.
Unfortunately, the link I found does not give credit to the true genius behind this idea. Sorry!

 
We happened to have some mini weapons lying around, so we used them as part of our game. As the characters move around the game, they can land at a castle. Then the owner of the castle must defend their castle by rolling a regular dice. The one who rolls the highest number wins the battle and the weapon.

 
Here are some examples of the cards we made. We placed some stickers on our board of shields. If a player landed on a shield they got to draw a card and follow the instructions.
 
Some examples:
 
The handle of your sword breaks. Move back 1 space.
 
The King and Queen requested your presence. Move ahead 2 spaces.
 
Fight like a knight and move ahead one space.
 
The dragon blew his fiery breath at you. Move back 2 spaces.
 
Show how you would defend yourself in battle. Move ahead 2 spaces.
 
 
The kids had fun coming up with fun things to do on the cards. Their favorite cards to draw were the ones that allowed them to be interactive. What little boy does not like to pretend sword fight?!
 
I think I am going to end up laminating the pieces if they keep playing it so much so they will keep their integrity. I have a feeling we will be creating more board games for some summer fun. This project cost us little more then paper and ink and it was fun to make together.
 
Hope you all have a Great Father's Day!!!
 
 
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