Friday, May 27, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Gift #5: Thanks for Being a TEA-rrific Teacher DIY Mug

The mug itself is a project I found on Pinterest. This website, The Sweetest Occasion, has some pretty good instructions on how to make a mug like this one. I have read a lot of posts though where people have failed horrible at making this project. I found that the key is to use a lot of fingernail polish right away. This was a good project to use up colors that we had not used in a while that were about half full but we still ended up using about 6 or 7 bottles that were half full to do just one mug.

The other one my daughter made for herself in blues and was hoping it would look like waves in the ocean. She is a swimmer and really like the idea of having a mug like that.

The mug she made for her art teacher she stuffed it with a variety of Teas and we attached a card that said "Thanks for being a TEA-rrific Teacher!"

Her art teacher appreciated the time and creativity she put into this.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

FREE Paddling Event on the Minnesota River State Water Trail

Are you looking for a fun group paddling event? Do you have a group and want to set out on your own on an assigned route?

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a "Paddle the Minnesota River State Water Trail in a Day" on June 11th during which there will be organized group paddles. Some of them do have canoes or kayaks available, so don't let the lack of a watercraft be a barrier, just check out the list of group paddles and it will tell you which ones have them available?

Not all of the river is taken and there are spots along the river for other individuals and groups to paddle. Some of the group paddles are listed as family-friendly as well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Historic Forestville

This is a site that is operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, but while you are there you should also check out the Forestville Mystery Cave.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Easy Star Hair Design for Girls

To do this you should be prepared with 5 hair ties and any bows you want to use. If your child has curly hair like mine it might be easier to use wet hair rather than dry hair.

I took the first third section of hair at the top of her head and split it equally into three sections. Secure each of those sections with a hair tie. The section at the very top can be secured tight but the ones on the side should be somewhat loose until you have put your star lines in place.

Divide each of the sections into two sections. Twist the hair up. If the hair is wet it should stay Twisted nicely and the hair will be smooth. Use the picture as reference to where you should put your hair sections. Use the remaining two hair ties to make the bottom two points. For a variation you could braids the sections after they have been separated.

Hopefully these directions are not too confusing. I think it is really easily to just look at the picture to figure it out.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Easy Patriotic Non-Alcoholic Drink

I have to admit, this was what I came up with AFTER a pinterest fail. I was trying that drink where you use Gatorade and Hawaiian Punch and Diet Sprite. I failed so many times with that one. I read about tips and making sure that you have a big enough difference between sugar contents (most sugar on the bottom) and adding ice at different times. Mostly I got purple drinks and one time I kept 2 colors separate, that's it. It was time to come up with something easier with what I had on hand.

Carbonated clear water or soda

I decided to layer ice in between the fruits to keep the separate, So, ice on the bottom, then strawberries, then more ice, then blueberries. Pour you clear carbonated beverage over the top.

Simple and easy and a little snack too!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

From the Heart Half Marathon Relay

Two weekends ago I did the  From the Heart Half Marathon Relay with a friend. It was a 2 person relay, so we each had over 6 1/2 miles to run. This is a local race that supports families who have someone battling cancer. It was their 8th year holding this race. They also do a 5k run walk and a half marathon, as well as the relay. The 5k has the biggest entries. When I got on the bus to be shuttled back from the exchange point, there was only 15 of us on the bus but I understand a couple people were picked up before I made it to the exchange point. So, there isn't a ton of people doing the relay; there are more doing the half marathon by themselves.

If you noticed, over the last couple years after I did 2 half marathons, I have really only been doing 5ks. I think I just needed a break from running so much and at this point I can just go out and run a 5k and it's not a big deal. So, this winter I approached my friend about starting to run together this spring and suggested we find a race to build up to. Building up to 6 1/2 miles by May 7th was pretty much perfect.

I have to say, this was a really fast half marathon pace. I pretty much kept my normal pace which typically puts me in the middle of the group, but in this particular race I was further back. But my friend and I were not running it to win a medal for time (they have them for this race). It was for the cause and to push ourselves to run further distances.

I had been running all winter with a friend who trained for this to be her first half marathon and I was happy I was able to run with her for my leg (the first half that was the hilly leg!) and be able to chat with her. Yes, we could have ran faster if we weren't talking, but it helped pass the time immensely and that is how we run together. It's a social sport for me.

The race started and ended at Lake Kohlmeier, which is why I took the cute picture of the grandpa and son at the Lake after I finished running. All I could think about after the race was eating the asparagus I picked from my garden with some eggs over easy and bacon. Yum!

There are a couple things I wish were different about some of the planning for this race. One of the things is there were only 3 bathrooms (porta-potties) total and we waited in line for 20 minutes and I barely got to the start line before the singing of the national anthem and there were a ton of people behind me and they were anxious too and asking if people ahead of them were running the 5k (which started a half hour later) or the half marathon or relay.

The other thing is that it felt like the relay is kind of just lumped in there. The relay people didn't get their own shirts like the half marathon and 5K people did; they all had shirts with their race on it whereas we got ones with half marathon it. I know some people have said they feel silly wearing it because they only ran half of the half marathon and don't want people to think they are trying to say they have run a half marathon. Since I have run two half marathons and feel like I probably could have if I wanted to that day,  so I don't feel that way but I get it  from people that haven't. The other thing is that they had not planned to give medals this year to the relay (to save money) but didn't communicate that to their volunteers prior to the race, but after all medals were given out and they realized they had a ton of medals left they gave them to the relay. Each person in the relay paid (we paid $95 for the relay) nearly as much as someone running the half marathon. It felt like we just got the leftovers and are an after thought. If I were to do this race in the future, I would probably just sign up for the half or the 5K. I did like splitting it, but not how it made me feel insignificant.

Kids Bowl FREE & OTHER Summer Bowling Programs

Check out the list of bowling alleys participating in this summer's Kids Bowl Free. The closest one to us is about 30 minutes away. In this program, kids can bowl 2 games free all summer long. You still need to rent shoes though. They do have a family pass so that parents can bowl at a discount.

But if there isn't one close to you, don't worry, just call your closest bowling alleys and see if they have any summer specials or programs going on. We are sandwiched between 2 towns and they do not participate in this program, but have their own specials/programs.

One near us has $1 games and $2 shoe rental on week days, and $2 games and $3 shoe rental on weekends. Both very good prices and we usually go bowling a couple times during the summer. It's a great place to go when it's raining out or hot, as most bowling alleys are air conditioned.

The one other near us does $25 summer bowling for 2 games & shoes every day. I believe this is for adults and children. We did this once and it was a lot of fun to go bowling so often.