Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Nisswa Turtle Races

You have missed the Nisswa Turtle Races for 2016, but add it to your summer bucket list for 2017. They are a fun thing to do "up north". We went for the first time this year and will probably make it a tradition. They are held on Wednesdays in the summer!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Glow In the Dark Bowling

This was certainly fun to play and I wish you could really see how cool this bowling set looks at night, but it's hard to really capture that in photos but you can kind of tell from the top picture.

All you need are used water bottles that you refill with tap water and place activated glow sticks in the inside of each one. The water will offer refractive properties so the whole bottle glows, not just the stick as it appears in the picture.

This works pretty well as an outdoor bowling game, but you can also play it inside. Just be sure you have the caps screwed on tight.

Have fun!

Other fun ideas to use glow sticks include:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Cilantro-Lime Coleslaw

This is a wonderfully flavorful coleslaw without the heaviness of mayo. It is great on it's own or tastes wonderful on shrimp or fish tacos.

Cilantro-Lime Coleslaw
1 small head of cabbage (shredded, about 6 cups)
1 C carrots (shredded or diced)
1/2 C fresh cilantro (chopped)
1/2 C green onions (sliced)
5 T fresh lime juice (from 2-3 limes)
3 T extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix together all vegetables in a large bowl with a cover
Mix together juice, oil, sugar and salt and pepper to make a dressing
Pour dressing over the top of the vegetables
Seal cover on the bowl and shake to mix well
Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 3 hours to allow flavors to blend.
Toss in the bowl again before serving to have dressing coat the slaw again.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Glow-in-the-Dark Basket Ring Toss

Another idea on how you can use those laundry baskets. Idea #2 Make Glow in the Dark Ring Toss. We assigned them points (1, 2, & 3 with the closest being one point). Initially we had taped the glow sticks (3 of them put together) on paper plates because I thought they might need more weight when we used then outside, but that was not the case. The ended up coming loose from the tape and we just used the glow stick rings. We played this both inside and outside. I think this might become a fun game we play at the cabin in the winter.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Aveda Butterfly Garden

You have about 2 1/2 weeks left to enjoy the Aveda Butterfly Garden at the Minnesota Zoo before this attraction closes for the season. We always enjoy seeing so many different kinds of butterflies there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Loom Knit Scrubbie for Dishes

I made these quite a while ago for my mom. The smaller pink and white one I used the peach flower loom. That was the first one I made and I wasn't thrilled how small it turned out so I made the next one using the blue small round loom in the Knifty Knitter set.

For both of them I used tulle on a spool. Usually you can find these for under $2 a spool. This is also the same kind of tool I used to make these cute little skirts with.

They are pretty quick to make and you use a standard stitch on the loom. For the large one I cashed on 12th Rose and then cast off the same way you would close up a hat X bringing a strand through each of the loops on each page then hang tight. Then cut another strand of the tool and go through each of the loops on the opposite side and pull tight. Then I tied in a couple of knots to keep the front and back side tied together and keep it flat.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Simple Bean and Corn Salsa

Do you remember that cookbook.....A Man A Can and A Plan? Or something like that. I have never actually read it, just remember the ads from on TV. Anyways, this is totally a recipe that could fit in there, as you could just stop with the 3 cans and not add any of the fresh ingredients and have perfectly good salsa, but I like to add some fresh stuff too!

Simple Bean and Corn Salsa
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes with jalepenos (Ro-tel)
1/2 C chopped cilantro
1/2 C chopped green onions

Mix all ingredients together. Best if allowed to sit for a couple hours to allow all the flavors to meld together.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Basket Balloon Toss

For a few Thursdays now I am going to show you how you can use some cheap laundry baskets from the Dollar Tree for a variety of things. I bought them in red white and blue so that we could use them over our summer holidays and be patriotic.

So this first idea is to make a basket balloon toss. Balloons are cheap and can be bought at the dollar store as well or you could use lightweight play ball for this activity as well.

The object of the game is to score 10 points first. The first row, which is red, is worth one point. The second row of white is worth 2 points and the third row of blue is worth 3 points. Each child was given a pool noodle to use as a bat to hit their balloon in from the starting basket. They each we're given two balloons to hit and would take turns and keep working through turns until someone scored 10 points.

A couple of tips if you are playing outside is that potentially the balloons made up when they hit the grass but this works well inside as well. It might be a fun game to play in the winter and using balloons keeps it safer from potentially wrecking anything in your house that is breakable. The other two is that you may need to adjust how you play if it is windy. They started out using pool noodles as bad but then it was windy enough they could just stand there and let it go and see what happens. If he comes more of a game of chance in that case instead of skill.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN

We just bought an annual pass to the Minnesota Zoo, so we will be there more often this year. We haven't has a family pass there in about 3 years. You can read more about this trip to the MN Zoo on My Adventures in Travel. Next week I will share a collage of pictures from the Aveda Butterfly Garden at the MN Zoo.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hand Painted Wooden Spoons

I made these as gift for a couple of different people and included a gift jar of Patchwork Soup to go with the hand painted wooden spoons.

I bought these sets of bamboo wooden spoons and used acrylic paint to paint on the stripes. I did 3 coats of paints, then I did 3 coats of high gloss lacquer over the top of the paint to help seal it in and keep it from flaking.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Grilled Pizza and a Homemade Pizza Crust Recipe

Homemade Pizza Crust
1 pkg fast rising yeast
3 C all purpose-flour
1 tsp. salt
1 C water (120-13 degrees)
2 T olive oil


  • Place heated water in a large bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top
  • Allow to sit for 5 minutes so that the yeast can bloom
  • Gently stir in olive oil
  • Stir in 1 C of flour and salt and beat on med. speed
  • Stir in remaining flour by hand then begin kneading
  • Knead for 5-7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic
  • Let dough rest 20 minutes
  • Divide dough in 2 parts
  • Roll dough out in to a 12" round greased pizza pan (if grilling, brush olive oil on both sides of the crust but do not put in a pan, it will go directly on grill grates)
  • Prebake for 10-12 minutes in a 400 degree preheated oven (or preheated grill one side over medium heat on a grill for about 5 minutes)
  • Top with topping (if grilling, flip so the grilled side is up and top that side)
  • Bake for 15 minutes in the oven or Grill 2nd side with toppings for 5 minutes
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Apple Print Kitchen Hand Towel & Loom Knit Towel Holder Instructions

My kids made these for their great grandparents. I like to have my kids make gifts whenever possible so that they are thinking about those special people in their lives.

I bought these very large kitchen towels from Fleet Farm. I had them print (stamp) on only one side that would be hanging out. We picked out 3 different fall colors in acrylic paint and then stamped with apple halves and wine corks (to add a different size and more interest).

I made the loom knit towel holder by casting on 6 pegs on a straight loom for 20 rows and casting off at the end.I doubled up my yarn to make it thicker and more sturdy. A button pretty easily slips through the stitches, so I just tied on in to place where I wanted it and put it through the stitches. To make the loop I used the Clover Wonder Knitter to make the length of looped I wanted. When I was done, I stitched the ends together to make the circle and then I hand sewed the loop to the hanger piece using yarn. I had previously used the Clover Wonder Knitter to make this Skinny Looped Infinity Scarf.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Boating & Tubing on Cannon Lake in Faribault, MN

This was about 7 weeks ago at the start of summer. We have a bit more of a tan now. :)
Tubing and Boating on Cannon Lake in Faribault, MN

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

8 Fun DIY Gift Ideas for Your Book Club or the Book Lover in Your Life

Since I am traveling today, I thought I would share some ideas that I thought were pretty awesome from other bloggers. I might need to do some of these with my book club.

DIY Book Jars - These are such cute candle holders and look super easy to make. Check them out at Arrow and Apple.

Library Tote Bag - What could be easier than an inexpensive tote bag and an iron-on Tranfer. See how it is done on U-Createcrafts.

Beaded Bookmarks - You could easily customize these beautiful bookmarks to suit the taste of any book lover you know with this idea from Tip Junkie. 

Rolled Book Page Wreath - This one looks like it may take a bit of time, but if you have time to spare you could make this beautiful looking wreath from Brassy Apple

Book Necklace -  This is just darling and looks like it is a quick and easy gift to make. You can find the tutorial on the Darice website.

Fabric Covered Book - I am just in love with all the beautiful colors of fabric used in these journals. I have made a few of these before and they are always well received. Check out how they are make on two twenty-one

Paper Mache Bowl - What a clever use of an old book that is falling apart or just something you picked up at a thrift store. See how to make your own on The Lulu Bird.

Hardcover Book Purse - OMG! I have to make this! I just need to find a book with a really interesting cover to make this with the tutorial on HGTV and then I can use the pages from inside for some of these other crafts.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

These are super easy to make and you only need a few ingredients. You are going to wonder why you haven't made these before. Everyone loves them when I make them. Make sure you buy the grand size biscuits. All these does cell large biscuit that works as well. Just don't buy the small biscuits.

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Tube of large biscuits 
Canola oil 
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon 

Pour enough oil into a frying pan to cover it 1/4-1/2" in the pan. Heat the oil so that it is hot before putting in your first biscuit. This will take about a minute on medium-high heat.

Cut circles into the center of the biscuits using a small circle cookie cutter.

Microwave for biscuits at a time and their corresponding donut holes for 1 minute at 100%. This helps to start cooking it in the center. If you don't do this you will have to fry them longer and they may not taste as well.

Place microwave biscuits in the hot oil and cook until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side.

Immediately toss in some cinnamon sugar, which you made by mixing together the cinnamon and sugar. Allow to cool on paper towel on a plate. The paper towels will help to absorb excess oil.