Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Inn at the Shore in Seaside, OR

We spent a weekend in Seaside, Oregon in June and stayed at the Inn at the Shore. We loved it there and definitely want to go back!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Try It Tuesday - DIY Camp Lantern

We made these at Camp MOM (you gotta be getting curious about Camp MOM and I promise I will tell you more about it soon!) This project was something that the other mom, Becky, came up with us to do.

We re-purposed some jars and covered them in stickers and tape (the foam kind you can get at the dollar store or craft supply stores) in a pattern we liked. Then we spray painted frosted paint (do this step outdoors!) over the entire piece, including stickers. When it was dry we peeled off the stickers and the print was left.

Next we twisted craft wire around the top to create something for our wire handle to be held on to the jar with. Twist together enough craft wire to keep to keep it from bending too much and twist the ends through the wire around the top of the jar and twist in to place. Use scrap fabric to decorate. Insert a battery operated tea light or a regular tea light to provide illumination.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Make It Monday: Homemade Baked Corn Chips

These could not be any easier! Plus they taste fabulous. Of course they do take a little more time than just opening a bag of corn chips, but they are worth if especially if you are serving them with some fresh homemade black bean salsa, homemade hummus or canned zucchini tomato salsa.

Homemade Baked Corn Chips
Cut small corn tortillas into triangles. Cut as many as you are hungry for or need.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place triangles on a cookie sheet and mist with cooking spray. Add any salt or spices at this time.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Cool and serve.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Starbucks Freebies Of the Week

Did you know that you can get free downloads of songs, apps, books and perhaps other things I am not aware of from Starbucks? You do have to visit a Starbucks store to get them, but they are just sitting out for you to take them. There is a new freebie every week and if your nearest store is anything like mine, they leave them out until they are gone. So, when I went to Starbucks yesterday (well, yesterday when I wrote this post, not when it was published) I picked up these four. There is a code on the back of each to get your free download and they each have an expiration date that is about 2 months out. In November & December, plan ahead when you are making trips near a Starbucks and you could pick up some free stocking stuffers. :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Try It Tuesday - Glam'ed Up Flip Flops

We made these flip flops during Camp MOM (stay tuned, there will be a other posts about our crafts and activities coming up over the next few weeks!)

I bought $1 flip flops when Old Navy had their sale, 3 bunches of flowers from the dollar store (although most of us chose the same flowers) and used leftover fabric and leftover beads and also used needle, thread & scissors.

All we did was cut strips of fabric that were about 1/2" in width by about 18" in length. We cut 2 pieces of fabric for each flip flop, so you need 4 strips for a pair. Next tie (double knot) one piece of fabric to one of the flip flop bands and wrap around until you come to the center where the two bands meet and then tie again. Repeat for all bands. Tie the ends of the fabric in the center where the two bands meet together. If your fabric is too thick to stay tie, you will need to put in a couple stitches to keep it in place.

Next take your flowers off the stem and remove all the plastic pieces, then re-stack your flower petals. Stitch the petal to the fabric in the center, as you bring your thread through the top add a bead and pull your thread back through the petals to the fabric. Repeat that for every bead you are adding. Tie off thread when you are finished.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Make It Monday: S'mores Oatmeal

The idea for this came from my daughter, who admittedly is kinda sugar crazed. It's a yummy idea and they gobble up their oatmeal. August 10th is National S'more Day, so why not try it then, or check out Northern Cheapskate in early August for my post on 12 different ideas for S'mores.

S'mores Oatmeal Recipe
1/2 Quick-Cooking Oatmeal
1 C Water
1 T Chocolate Chips
1 T Mini Marshmallows
1/4 Sheet of Graham Crackers, crumbled

Directions: Stir oatmeal and water together in a bowl that is twice as large as the contents. Microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. After cooking, top with chocolate chips, mini marshmallows & graham crackers. Enjoy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

$5 Friday - Kayaking & Canoeing

Ok, technically I didn't pay anything to kayak, except maybe $5 in gas money to get me there if we want to get technical. I own my kayak and paddle & life jacket, so I had it to bring along. We went kayaking at Sakatah State Park in Waterville, MN. State Parks in MN do have an admission free of $5 a daily or a yearly pass for $25. So, if you had your own kayak & supplies you would only pay $5 to enter. We have a yearly state park pass, which we have used many times over now so that our cost per use is probably around $3 right now.

My friend who I went kayaking with did not own one, but she could rent one from the park office (pictured above) and the cost of that came out to less than $5 for 2 hours. It was $10 for up to 4 hours (so, you can't really pay for 2 hours) or $20 for 4 - 8 hours. It is the same price for a canoe that you can have up to 4 people in, so in that case you would end up paying $2.50 a person for 4 hours. Good deal! All paddles & life jackets are included.

Of course there are other places you can rent kayaks and canoes from, but I am giving you an idea on a place to do it that helps you save some green in your pocketbook.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Lowe's Build & Grow Toy Story R.C.

Did you miss out on the last Toy Story Build and Grow at Lowe's, well, now there is another chance to build something from Toy Story on July 27th or 28th. This time your child can build R.C.

You can choose between Saturday @ 10am or Sunday @ 2pm. If your nearest one is full, it will say so when you register. Register early! These Free clinics are becoming quite popular and filling up fast!

Check back later to see what the offerings are for August. All summer they Build & Grow are associated with Disney-Pixar.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Views from the RiverPlace Hotel in Portland

We spent 3 nights at the RiverPlace Hotel in Portland on our trip there in June. It is right on the marina. These are the views from the hotel.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Try It Tuesday: Watermelon Paper Plate Craft

Summer time means watermelon! But you don't have to just eat it! You can create it. All you need is a paper plate (only half of one actually), some washable paint and your imagination.

 My son did this one all on his own, except I cut the paper plate in half. I simply told him to paint the inner semi-circle red and outer ridge green and use his finger tips to make the seeds. Next up will be to have a watermelon seed spitting contest like we have on our 102 Things To Do This Summer bucket list. And maybe make myself some Watermelon Sangria Granita. Yum!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Make It Monday: Cucumber Salad

Summer is upon us and that means we will start to have an abundance of fresh produce from our garden and available at area farmer's markets. The cucumber salad I grew up eating contains mayonaise, but this is a clean eating version that uses vinegar and a little honey to help flavor it and enhance the natural flavors of the vegetables.

Cucumber Salad serves 2
1 large cucumber (or 2 medium), peeled and chopped or sliced
1 large Roma tomato, chopped
1-2 T chopped onion (red onion will add a nice color, or 2 green scallions)
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
2 T apple cider vinegar
3 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste


  • Chopped cucumber, tomato, onion and cilantro and toss together in a bowl
  • Mix together (a shaker works best)vinegar, honey, cumin, salt and pepper
  • Pour wet mixture over vegetables
  • Serve and Enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five Dollar Friday - Slackling Class

I thought I would try a new Friday segment occasionally like I had seen on Inner Child Fun in the past. Fridays have been kind of my days that I post about Pottery Crafts or My Pinterest Inspirations or some kind of 4-part series. Friday is my catchall day to cover stuff that might not fall under another heading or I just don't want to schedule it out so far.

The idea behind $5 Friday is that we do something that costs five dollars or less. It could be an event or a project or whatever. It is to help give you ideas on things you can do that cost little money. I will probably save more of the "Free" ideas for my Thrifty Thursday posts.

I decided to try out Slackling and as a member of the River Bend Nature Center I was able to take the class for $5, be sure to check places where you are members and area nature center to see if they offer affordable classes.

We started out on a 2" slackline that was about a foot off the ground and I wasn't sure if I could do more than that, but I did manage to walk by myself (not holding anyone's hand) across the 1" slackline that was about 3-4 feet off the ground not just once, but twice. I was feeling pretty good about that accomplishment. There was another 2" slackline about 3-4 feet off the ground but the length was twice as long and the longer a slackline the more it will jiggle towards the center, so that one I only got about 1/3 the way before jumping off. I will have to see if we can fit it in our schedule to take another one of the slacklining classes this summer.  There is still 3 more of slacklining classes scheduled this summer at River Bend Nature Center.

Sponsored Review: Jamba Juice

I had the opportunity to review fruit and veggie smoothies with my family through the Kiwi Moms Meet Program. I was given gift cards to Jamba Juice in order to try out these products and post my thoughts on them and also what my kids thought of them too. We went to the Jamba Juice in the Mall of America and ordered a Tropical Harvest Smoothie in the original size and a Jamba Kids Berry Beet It Smoothie.

Both of these smoothies are made with a combination of fresh fruit and a vegetable juice blend. As you can tell by the name the the Berry Beet It contains beets in the vegetable juice, but it also contains carrots, broccoli, spinach and kale. The Tropical Harvest Smoothie only said it was a orange vegetable juices so we were trying to figure out what they were and we could definitely taste some carrot but were unsure of the rest, which are butternut squash and sweet potato.

My kids had no idea there were vegetables in these smoothies until they heard my husband say he could taste the carrot in the Tropical Harvest Smoothie,. They still thought they tasted very sweet. My kids are pretty good eaters, so I don't need to sneak veggies in foods to trick them, but if you do you might really be interested in these smoothies.

From doing this review I learned that only 8% of Americans get enough servings of fruit a day and 6% of Americans get enough servings of vegetables a day. Only 1% of adults and 2% of children get the recommended fruit and vegetables. As a fruit & veggie lover, I have to wonder why that is. Is it they don't like them, or parents are not buying them or an economic issue.

My daughter said she liked the Tropical Harvest best and my husband liked the Berry Beet best, but my son and I were sucking both down equally. They were tasty! And quite filling too.

I did notice that Jamba Juice is offering kids meals not too that include a smoothie paired with a carbohydrate so that they can have a balanced meal that includes multiple food groups.

I can't wait to try more Jamba Juice products next time we head to the mall. I had not been to a Jamba Juice since they first opened and was surprised at how expansive the menu was and the new items on there, as well as the kids meals.

I really liked their mission statement that they had on the wall and wanted my readers to be able to read it too!

I received this product for free from the
sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media
Group LLC, who received it directly from the
manufacturer. As a Moms MeetSM blogger, I agreed
to use this product and post my opinion on my blog.
My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions
of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Lowe's Build & Grow a Toy Story Pizza Planet Truck

These Lowe's Build & Grow Clinics are FREE and a fun way to do an activity with your child and help them make their own toy (sometimes it's a gift type item, but often it is a toy.) Both my kids (ages 3 & 7) love going to them.

This one is THIS WEEKEND! You can choose between Saturday @ 10am or Sunday @ 2pm. If your nearest one is full, it will say so when you register.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Review: Olay Fresh Effects B.B. Cream

I have really enjoyed reviewing Olay Fresh Effect B.B. Cream. It combines five different benefits in one tube. It moisturizes and hydrates your skin; it has a tint to even skin tone; it has a SPF15 to help protect your skin from the sun; it brightens your skin and gives it a glow; and it leaves your skin feeling soft. Sounds like a win-win-win-win-win to me!

I love that it combines multiple products in one, so now I don't need to lather on multiple products (sunscreen, moisturizer and foundation). I still will use foundation is I am looking to have a more "made-up" look, but this Fresh Effects cream is perfect when I want my skin to look natural, and well, fresh.

You can buy Olay Fresh Effects Cream at Amazon  or on the Olay Website.

I received Fresh Effects complimentary from Influenster.