Pumpkin Patch Scavenger Hunt

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 in Holiday, Kids | 3 comments

 

pumpkin patch

For weeks now, our kids have been waiting to go the local pumpkin patch. The seasonal company started stringing the lights and bringing in the fences at the end of September. When they finally opened the first weekend of October, the kids started asking when we were going EVERY time we drove by! (Which is more than once a day!) So tonight, we went for “happy hour” while the tickets are half price. Even then, a trip to the pumpkin patch can get very expensive! Ours has giant inflatable slides, bouncy houses, swings, carnival games, a petting zoo and rides. So to get a little more out of our trip to the pumpkin patch, I created a simple scavenger hunt for the kids to do while we were there! 

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Pointillism Painting with Pom Poms and Creative Galaxy

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 in Crafts, Kids | 7 comments

creative galaxy on Amazon

There’s a new show available on Amazon Prime Instant Video, and it’s an instant hit in our house! Creative Galaxy is about a little alien boy named Arty who travels around with his pal Epiphany (I loved this little sidekick) solving problems with art! It really plays towards a child’s natural inclinations to imagine and create. The screen is bursting with bright colors and fun music while you create alongside Arty and his friends. Charlie was immediately drawn in and he sat through two full episodes before I made him turn it off. (Each episode is about 30 minutes and there are two adventures per episode.)

creative galaxy 1

The very first episode finds Arty at the library that his mother designed (she’s an architect) but no one is staying to read the books in the library. Arty discovers that the reason the kids are leaving is because it’s kind of “blah” inside. There are no decorations on the walls! *Gasp* :) So he decides he’s going to create a painting to decorate the library walls. While visiting the planet with paint and paintbrushes, he learns about Pointillism. When I heard that, I started to gather up some supplies for Charlie to create his own painting using the pointillism technique (painting with dots.)

pom pom painting

While he was watching the show, I sketched a pumpkin and vine on a canvas I had leftover from last Christmas. At the end of each episode, there’s a short video of kids doing an art or craft that goes along with the theme of the episode. The first episode had a little girl creating a pizza using paint and pom poms. I thought Charlie would like that, so I grabbed a few pom poms and we used them to paint “dots” just like Arty did. Charlie kept saying, “It’s just like the show!”

pointillism

Dot dot dot….dot dot dot…dot dot dot dot dot!

pom pom

He wasn’t exactly great about staying in the lines I’d drawn, but I held my tongue and let him just fill it all in wherever he wanted. :) When we finished with the orange dots, I gave him some green to add the vine and leaves. Well, the leaves ended up just being a big green field instead, but I still think our pumpkin turned out great! Pointillism isn’t supposed to be an exact art anyway!

pointillism pumpkin

After watching another episode about building with blocks, our wooden block collection has been out on the dining room table for a few days. Even Henry (6 years old) likes to watch. He thought he was too old for the show at first, but seeing the kids at the end of each episode doing fun projects convinced him he needed to try it out. He’s our creative one, really. I’m so glad for a fun show like this (it’s made by the same people who created Blue’s Clues) because I’m NOT naturally creative and “artsy” at all. The ideas that are built-in to the episodes make it easy to implement some art into your every day life! I’m completely for anything that encourages right-brained activity, especially music and art!

pointillism pom pom painting

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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50 Fantastic Side Dishes

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 in Holiday, Side Dishes | 6 comments

For me, the hardest part of planning Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is the sides. There are so many to choose from, but we often get in a rut and just make the same old thing year after year. I was listening to a podcast by Alton Brown and he said that it’s just not Thanksgiving at his house without certain dishes. He began to list them off and he determined that NINE side dishes are necessary! :) I think he was counting gravy as its own dish, but still…nine?!? Then again, maybe he’s right. We must have a potato of some kind (preferably mashed) and it would be blasphemy to miss out on dinner rolls of some kind. Then there’s the warm vegetable side like green beans or green bean casserole, sweet potatoes for those who like them (blech) and a salad of some kind. Our family loves sweet broccoli salad. My husband’s family makes this orange jello salad every year. He hates it, but it’s always on his plate because, well, it’s just not the holidays without it! :) Hopefully this very comprehensive collection of side dishes will inspire you to try something new! My contribution to the collection is this tangy, sweet, slightly spicy cranberry salsa. It’s colorful and beautiful and it’s way better than cranberry sauce from a can!

cranberry salsa

side dish roundup main

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Let’s Get Real #61

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 in Link Party | 2 comments

Woot! Woot! Let’s get this Friday started. Let’s Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That’s right! It’s all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That’s you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

**This week you can enter to win next week’s special co-host spot. If you are interested in co-hosting next week, please enter the rafflecopter give-away. We would love to have you join us for the week.  Note:  We had some technical difficulty last week and we don’t have a co-host this week.”


Let's Get Real
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No Sew Burlap Utensil Holders

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 in Crafts, Featured, Holiday | 6 comments

utensil holders

Last year for Thanksgiving, we celebrated in an unusual way: small. Usually, our family Thanksgiving celebration is a huge gathering of family and more food than you could eat in a week. However, last year my parents were touring Israel and Greece over the holiday and two of my brothers were visiting family elsewhere. So it was just our family and my middle brother, Ryan, and his wife and son. They invited another couple along so we had a total of 6 adults and our kids. For the first time since our very first Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to host dinner and set the table. I decided to go with a casual, yet elegant look and these burlap utensil holders I saw on I heart Naptime pulled the whole setting together. The best part is you can make them in just a few minutes and they are no sew!

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What Women Really Want

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 in Marriage | 0 comments

historic mission inn

We just returned from an overnight couples’ retreat held at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside, CA. If you have not been there and you have a chance to visit Southern California or are lucky enough to live here, you NEED to go see the Mission Inn. Even if you can’t stay for a night, there are tours, restaurants and museums to visit. The inn takes up an entire city block in downtown Riverside! It was beautiful and I was wishing we could have stayed for another night just to see more! We are definitely going back this Christmas for the amazing lights display!

I like to glean from the sessions when we go to things like this retreat and then share what I learned with you. Usually, we will have a few sessions all together as a group, and then there will be a split session for the men and ladies. I ALWAYS wish I could go to the men’s session instead! :) I am so curious to know what they are talking about and if the speaker really knows what women need and want! This year, the men’s session had a handout, so when my husband shared it with me, I knew that I could easily share it with you!

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Let’s Get Real #60

Posted on Oct 9, 2014 in Link Party | 3 comments

Woot! Woot! Let’s get this Friday started. Let’s Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That’s right! It’s all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That’s you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

**This week you can enter to win next week’s special co-host spot. If you are interested in co-hosting next week, please enter the rafflecopter give-away. We would love to have you join us for the week.**


 

Let's Get Real Friday Party
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