Friday, July 31, 2015

Those Who Matter......

This picture was taken of the Harbor Seals in Newport, Oregon. I just thought they looked so beautiful lying together bathing in the sun with each other.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

FREE Lowe's Build and Grow: Hulk's Tank

This, Hulk's Tank, is the FIFTH Avengers Lowe's Build and Grow. These have been quite popular! Even if your child hasn't done the previous ones, you can't pass this one up. It's the Hulk! There will be one more left to complete the set of 6. The last one will be the Thor's Chariot!

This Lowe's Build and Grow will be at 10am on Saturday, August 8th.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Science Museum of Minnesota

We've shared other visits to the Science Museum of Minnesota with you, but right now they have the Space exhibit there. We were there when it opened in the spring and plan to get another visit to the Science Museum in during the summer.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Outside Foot Painting - Crazy Messy Fun

Remember the Messy Twister we did a while back, well, we had some more messy fun. The outdoors is great for messy projects because you can just wash it away.

I got out 4 different baking sheet pans and put washable tempera paint on them. FYI - even though tempera paint says it is washable I do not recommend letting kids wear their nice clothes because it has been known to set in a bit and leave a stain.

We held down big sheets of paper with some rocks from the landscaping.

Then I let the kids have at it creating sunflowers with their feet. Of course they are kids and these ones don't mind getting messy, so they started using their hands as well. Before I know it my daughter was done with her picture and started getting her hands and feet full of paint to do cartwheels in the driveway so she could see the prints it makes (cartwheels seems to be her preferred mode of transportation these days.)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Low Carb Creamed Spinach

Lots of creamed spinach recipes call for making a white sauce that uses wheat flour, but you don't need that to make creamed spinach. Let's keep it simple and quick to make!

Low Carb Creamed Spinach

1 10-oz bag of steamable spinach
2 garlic cloves
2 oz. cream cheese
3 T milk
salt & pepper (to taste)


  • Cook spinach in microwave according to package
  • While spinach is cooking, saute cloves in a little oil in a small frying pan until lightly browned
  • Add cream cheese and milk to the pan and cook over medium heat until all cream cheese is melted and mixture is smooth
  • Stir in spinach
  • Enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pottery Leaf Tea Cozy

I am so in love with these tea cozies. They aren't for me :( But I may just have to make some for me. I made these for a gift with a matching tea box. I made these by slab rolling out my clay and putting in a maple leaf print. Then I shaped the piece so that it was not longer flag and was curved in the center to place a spoon and tea bag and also have the edges curve down. I also cut out and shaped around the edges of the piece so that it was just a leaf.

#ad Review: Mini Wired Selfie Stick for iPhone & Android

My Thoughts: I had never thought I would buy a selfie stick but then I realized this would work out very nicely to try to get in our whole family in a selfie picture when we are on vacation. I don't like asking strangers to take pictures of our family only to see that they took a blurry picture and have to ask them to take it again. This way I won't have to bother other people and I can snap as many pictures of is as I want. This is my first selfie stick, so I can't compare it to a bluetooth one, but I do like I can just plug it in and open the app and get started. I have a Samsung Galaxy 3 and I was not able to just plug it in and go. I had to download the app Camera360, which is free to download, and use that to take a picture. I like using the app for this because it gives you the option to create an account and store your photos in the cloud instead of taking up space on your camera.

Disclaimer: I received this product for a discount to do this review. No monetary compensation was received. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Painted Landscaping Bricks at the Cabin

Here is a fun and thrifty idea. We did this as an extended part of my daughter's Art Birthday celebration and did these with family at our cabin. The ones pictured here are all of ours and are at our cabin. We each did 2 of them and helped brighten up the entry path to our cabin front door. We didn't really have a clear path before so we tore our a bush that had overgrown it's spot there (I replanted it somewhere else with more room.)

So, you can see we have an eclectic grouping of painted bricks (they are pretty inexpensive) that we painted with acrylic paint. My husband painted a boat and lake scene and then his name with a fishing bobber. I painted my name and an American flag. My daughter painted her name and then the "Cabin" brick (she painted everything but the word, which I did). My son painted the truck and let me paint his name one which I did in Minnesota Vikings colors and style of letters. I think they turned out great!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, WI

Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin
is such a fun place. I grew up going here once a summer with my family and on some school field trips. I enjoy being able to share this with my own children.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stegosaurus Paper Plate Craft

It's no secret that my son is a huge dinosaur fan, so we are constantly doing projects and reading books and doing activities that pertain to dinosaurs.

This one is really simple when you use a green paper plate, although you can just as easily paint a paper plate green. I cut out all the pieces for my son out of craft foam and let him glue them on, as well as the googly eye. He drew on the mouth of the stegosaurus too.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Homemade Yogurt

Making your own yogurt can be a thrifty thing to do and seriously, there is nothing so fantastic as FRESHLY MADE yogurt! There is no other way to describe it other than fresh.

I used whole milk to make my yogurt, which will yield a thicker yogurt than other types of milk without having to use powdered milk as an addition. I have a yogurt maker, which is a bit like a slow cooker for yogurt but someday I plan to try a slow cooker yogurt recipe and see what I think of that.

You will need to buy some active cultures, or the easy way to get that is to buy a container of plain yogurt with active cultures in it to use as a starter. Be sure to read the label and make sure it has active cultures in it, and make sure you are not buying yogurt that is thickened with corn starch.

To start off you will need to heat your yogurt to 203 degrees (make sure you use a thermometer) where it will be boiling. Remove from heat at this temperature. Then allow it to cool completely to 95 degrees.

Next you will whisk in your container of plain yogurt with active cultures. After you make your first batch, be sure to save 1 container of your homemade yogurt because this will be your starter for your next batch and the active cultures in that will be added to your next batch and multiply in your homemade yogurt. If you plan things right, you can continue to make yogurt using your own starter continuously and not have to buy any other yogurt.

Finally pour your liquidy mixture in to your yogurt maker. Mine has seven separate jars, which I really like. Be sure to follow the instructions on your machine. Mine has a simple on-off button and stays a constant temperature. I just need to make sure I leave the jars cooking in the yogurt maker for the length of time indicated by what my choice of milk was. Whole milk will cook faster as well, so I only need to cook it for 6 hours instead of 8 hours with skim milk.

Eat plain or add your favorite topping and Enjoy!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Perfect Moments....

This is a picture I took last year of the Latourell Falls, which is about 25 miles outside of Portland, Oregon and can be seen along the Historic Columbia River Highway. It is definitely worth the drive to check out all the beautiful waterfalls along this route.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

FREE Lowe's Build & Grow - Hawkeye's Quinjet

My son has been so excited about these free Build and Grow's and Lowe's. After we finished completing the second one we realized that all the badges (all 6 of them) form a complete circle. We have a t-shirt already purchased so we can iron them all on when he is finished. I am sure he is going to feel pretty proud of that when he wears it to school.

The platforms all line up together to make one big Avengers logo. He already has the first three lined up on his dresser. This next one is the Hawkeye Quinjet.

This Lowe's Build and Grow will be at 10am on Saturday, July 25th.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#ad Review: Two Meows Cat Litter Mat

We've had our cats for a long time, and what that means is we've dealt with litter being dragged out of the litter box and in to other areas of the house for a long time too. Well, no more! Now we have decided to try out the Two Meows Cat Litter Mat so we can end that frustration.

Setting it up is easy. Just take it out of the package and place in front of the litter box. It is soft when you steps on it. It is made of some kind of rubbery material that you can easily shake out or spray out with the garden hose to clean it up. I should have gotten one of these a long time ago. It keep the litter trapped in the mat and prevents it from getting tracked all over the place. We have our litter box under the utility sink in our laundry room so it is out of sight, but it was still a pain to go back there and step on litter that would stray away. Thankfully that is not happening anymore.

I received the above mentioned product for free or at a discount for the purpose of review. No monetary compensation was received. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Wordless Wednesday: Minnesota Flowers at the Cabin in Late Spring

We looked at our cabin the middle of summer and didn't get to take possession until Labor Day weekend, so we never had a chance to see what kind of flowers we have there in the Spring.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Messy Outdoor Twister Fun

Do you have a Twister Game sitting around your house? 

Why not get it out and play it outdoors and have some messy fun!

I used a full container of shaving cream and about 10 drops of each color of food coloring to make the shaving cream dots.

We invited the neighbor girl to come over and join my kids (trade off was she had a large kiddie pool out that the kids could rinse off in afterwards, otherwise I had our Octopus Kids sprinkler ball ready for them to use).

The kids couldn't resist getting messy and after they finished playing. Yes, it took longer for me to gather supplies and set everything up than the actually made it through playing but with a 5 year old boy who wanted to get messy I knew that was par for the course.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Easy Broiled Grapefruit

Making Broiled Grapefruit is easy, healthy and tasty.

  • Set oven to broil, allow a couple minutes to heat up
  • Cut grapefruit in half and place in a baking dish (line with foil if you like)
  • Using a sharp knife, cut around the edges and across both ways to make it easier to release the fruit from the rind
  • Drizzle maple syrup over the top
  • Broil for 5 minutes
  • Serve immediately
  • Enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Beautiful Discovery...

This photo is from another (different beach) on the Oregon coast. The figures in this photo are of my children and one of my deepest wish for them to grow up as friends, even though they are such individuals in their own right and may take different paths in life. I hope they will always be friends as well as siblings.

I made this one for a dear friend that I just have this special connection with that we can be apart for so long and when we have the opportunity to talk or see each other it is as no time has passed and we quickly catch up with how our separate lives have lead us on this life adventure.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fun DIY Lego Maze

Thrifty Tip: Have your kids create mazes for each other and themselves by using a baseplate and arranging legos in their preferred maze shape. Be sure to press the legos all the way down, if they aren't the marble won't glide through as easy. HAVE FUN!