Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Little Prompting

I have been faithfully reading Tinkerlab's blog since I found it.  It's a fantastic site that promotes "out of the box" learning for kiddos.  Recently, one of the blog's prompts was to let our kiddos take apart a stuffed animal. I mean, really let them tear into it!  I gave L a pair of scissors, a seam ripper, and an old stuffed Clifford Dog (that I can't for the life of me remember where we got it!).  Her goal (that she chose) was to see what was inside the dog and lay out all the stuffing, that it took to fill the dog, on the table. She was pleased with herself!!

Needless to say my daughter had a blast with this!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fun With Water; Busy Baby Resting Mommy

Have some fun with water this summer!....

What you need...
Spray bottle

Let your kids free with a spray bottle filled with water.  They can experiment with how things look after they have been sprayed and then check back to see when the water has evaporated.


Did it just rain? Does your kiddo need a bath?  Why not let your child go play in the puddles?  I can bet you'll be outside for awhile!  And if they get dirty?  They needed a bath anyway!

PS- Just pull up a lawn chair and give yourself a rest!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I was just doing a little tweak to my blog the other day and I happened to look at my stats.  I just realized that I am getting somewhere around 1,500 views every month!

I am completely humbled and amazed by that number.  When starting this blog I had never imagined it getting that many views in a month's time!

Anyway, thank you thank you thank you for reading my little blog!!!! :o)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CSA Wednesday

 This week's CSA had...
Red potatoes
Sweet corn
Sweet Cherries

Yum!  I can't wait to try them all!!!

I have to share this other picture that I snapped this afternoon...
I put the CSA box on the table and went to do something else quickly.  When I came back I found L's head buried in the CSA box because she couldn't stand to wait, for me, to see what we had in it this week.  So funny!!!  And I love that she is getting so excited about it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

True Hope Dolls

Picture source
While reading the latest copy of my FamilyFun Magazine. I found a little article that made my heart warm. It was about a social media campaign (started on Facebook, I believe) that asked the major doll companies to make a doll for children that is "bald and beautiful"! You can find them here at Toys R Us. You can find their FB page here.

According to the Facebook page...

"We WILL see a Beautiful and Bald "friend of Barbie" made to help young girls who live with hair loss due to cancer treatments, Alopecia or Trichotillomania . Also, for young girls who are having trouble coping with their mother's hair loss from chemo. Many children have some difficulty accepting their mother, sister, aunt, grandparent or friend going from a long haired to a bald.

Unlike men, who having a bald head is trendy and a fashion statement, women and children are stared at and often teased when they go in public, expected to cover their bald heads. We want to stop the shame and stigma that children and women deal with having hair loss.

Accessories such as wigs, bandanas, scarves and hats will be included. This will be a great coping mechanism for young girls dealing with hair loss themselves or a loved one."

Bratz and Moxie dolls heard this call and answered! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea so SO much!!! This makes me super excited! Adding to this stellar idea is that parts of the proceeds from the sale of this Bratz or Moxie doll will go to City Of Hope , which is a cancer foundation located in LA.  They are recognized for their patient care and cancer research.  So not only has Bratz come out with a doll that helps little girls, who are dealing with difficult circumstances, feel better about themselves but they are also giving back to a cancer foundation that furthers research in cancer! Awesome!!! That my friends is an amazing two-fer (two-for-one)!

And in case I wasn't already verklempt enough? I told L about this doll, because she saw the magazine page open, she immediately wanted me to buy one!  (She already has Cloe picked out!) Not because she thinks they are cute (she thinks they are adorable) but because she heard that money from the purchase will go to help kids with cancer. So, OK, the money doesn't specifically help children, but in her mind they will.  And for a kid to see "beyond themselves" to want to help another child, I am all for that! Needless to say, my little girly has a birthday coming up, and I'm pretty sure I know what one of her gifts will be this year!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

More Camping Fun

I've been MIA the last few days because we spent Thursday through Sunday camping with my parents. We had so much fun!
Giant bubbles, smores, dominos, minnows nibbling at our toes, hours at the beach, swinging in the hammock with my girlie, campfire glow, sparklers, looking at the stars, Santa (who goes by the name of "Bob" when at his summer home), ice cream and icies, and lots of time with loved ones= camping with the family!
As you can imagine, I am BEAT!!! So enjoy the pictures while I take a break!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CSA Wednesday

This week's CSA included...

Sweet Cherries
Hull Peas
Sweet Onion (not pictured)

I am really looking forward to these...

In other news... I won't be posting again for a few days.  I am taking time away, from cyber world, for some fun family time!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Study Results From The Mayo Clinic

I found this article, put out by the Mayo Clinic to be very interesting! (Thank you Sjogren's Style for posting the link!) The article is about a study that was done, at the Mayo Clinic, that may prove that....

"Larger-than-normal populations of specific gut bacteria may trigger the development of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and possibly fuel disease progression in people genetically predisposed to this crippling and confounding condition..."

I find this fascinating! The article goes on to say that they weren't sure, at first, if the bacteria was causing RA or if the RA was causing the bigger population of gut bacteria. It was a classic case or chicken versus egg  ie; did the chicken come first or the egg.  So they did a study on genetically engineered mice.  One set had the predisposed RA gene and the other set had genes that are known to promote a resistance to RA. Then they introduced different forms of bacteria to the mice to see how they reacted. When the study was done it showed that the bacteria in our guts could be a deciding factor in the health of our immune systems, most notably being RA.

Big deal, you say? This is a very big deal!  This study significantly starts the "study ball" rolling, in regards to RA research specifically, but also other autoimmune studies. I see studies being done about how the regulation of certain bacteria, in specific parts of our body, could bring around maintenance of and or possibly prevention of auto immune diseases. Now, grant it, that is a long way off but they have to start somewhere right?  After all, as Thomas Edison said,

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
This article also backs up the thought that we have to be more careful about the food that we are sticking into our bodies. 
' "Because it's [the gut] presented with multiple insults daily through the introduction of new bacteria, food sources and foreign antigens, the gut is continually teasing out what's good and bad." '
That basically means that we need to be more responsible for what our food has in it to help our bodies. Which leads me to share another favorite quote, of Thomas Edison's, to think over...

"Discontent is the first necessity of progress." 

Monday, June 18, 2012

UnBEARably cute!

Have you seen this? It brings all new meaning to the saying, "warm and cuddly feeling"!

It's a teddy bear heating pad!  And SO adorable!!!  What kid wouldn't love this? I think I will have to add this to the top of my crafting/sewing "to do" list for sure!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

This, esteemed readers, is my Dad. He looks rather jolly in this picture doesn't he? Honestly, the man has never met a stranger. Like, ever. Seriously! We could leave him alone for two minutes, in a public place, and come back to him having a conversation, with a stranger, about the effects of crop damage in Western Pennsylvania. I exaggerate. It's more likely a conversation about that fact that he has suddenly found out that he knows the strangers third cousin twice removed, who shares the same birthday as him, from some store that he randomly went into, that one time, when he was working for that farmer, bailing hay when he was seventeen. Of course I have come to realize that this apple, unashamedly, doesn't fall far from that tree! Though, I lack his cluelessly unconventional interrogation skills.  The man could work for the CIA!

Anyway, I digress, my Dad is the best! And even at the age of thirty one I still think he can fix anything!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


L and I had a wonderful morning yesterday! Went spent the entirety of it outside in our backyard. I mostly used the time to weed the garden and along my fenceline. L puttered around with her toys. We both had random conversations while we kept ourselves busy. It was great!

I was almost done with the weeding and L decided that she wanted to get dirty and help me weed.  She was a good little sport and chatted away energetically until the novelty wore off. By that point we were almost done weeding. I remembered a story my dad had told me about a parenting trick my grandma used to play on him when he was little. I can now say that it works like a charm. I guess you are wondering what I did? I took a handful of change (pennies, nickels, and dimes) and threw them into the weeds I wanted her to take out. She looked at me like I had grown another head and the following conversation went like this...

"Mommy! Why did you do that?!? (she said in horror)

"Go find them."

"Find the change?"

"Yes.  You find the change and you can keep it."

"How do I do that with the weeds?"

"Pull out the weeds and you'll find the change."

"...And... I can keep it?.....All of it?"

"Yep. You find it and you can keep it."


She immediately threw herself into the work and whipped clods of dirt and big hunks of weed over her shoulders as she went! I have never seen a child weed with that much fervor. She was delighted! I, honestly, expected her to just take out enough to find the change and be done with it. I have to say that she did a really good job though! What a good little helper she was!  Now, I am wondering what else I can get her to do around the house if I only throw some change around for her!!

After she had played, again, for awhile I got out an old picture frame I was going to throw away.  I gave it to L along with some tiny nails and a little hammer I had.  She spent almost an hour hammering the nails into the frame. When she got tired of doing it the "normal" way, she changed her approach to different angles. She hammered away at it laying on her stomach, side, and back. Once she had enough of that I taught her how to take the nails out of the wood with the other end of the hammer. My daughter was in wonder of that and began to hammer nails again just so that she could take them out seconds later.

We had so much fun today.  As I began to write the second half of this blog post a song began running through my head.  I am crashed on the couch and sore from the work in the yard so I'll leave you with the video.... It's Hammertime!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Busy Baby Resting Mommy Tortilla Chips

I made these jungle animals for a baby shower!

What you need...
Tortilla wraps (I use flour but you could use wheat or multigrain to be healthier)
Knife (used by an adult)
Cookie tray
Basting brush
Seasoning (I used sea salt...Mmmmm!)

1. Place the tortilla wraps on a cutting board or plate and cut into strips.  (You can also use cookie cutters to make fun shapes!)

2. Place the tortilla strips on a cookie tray. (I usually place them on tinfoil on my tray.)

3. Dip the basting brush and lightly brush the tops of the tortilla strips with the basting brush.

4. Sprinkle your seasoning over the tops of the strips.

5. Cook at 350 degree for 9-12 minutes.  You will know they are done when the trortilla chips snap when you break it in half.

These tortilla chips are SO so yummy and super easy to make.  The best part?  You can make them to your health preferences.  Have a gluten allergy?  Make them out of your special tortilla wraps, simple as that!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I just felt like some sharing some of the random pictures that I have taken, with my phone, this week!

I can't even stand how cute this furry little girl looks while sleeping. She's curled in a ball because of the air conditioning!
What my hand looked like after L had fully accessorized me!

Her favorite spot in the house...looking out the window to be nosy.

I'm not sure what my computer was trying to tell me by imprinting an abstract teenage mutant ninja turtle onto my knee!

I just LOVE the way this looks!  It was shadows moving on the wall from the tree in front of our front window.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

CSA Wednesday

This week's CSA had this in it...
Sweet Cherries
Leaf Lettuce
Sugar Peas
Pattypan Squash

We didn't get as much as we have come to expect in the box this week.  However, I think it was an "in between" week on the farm, as in some things were done and the others were not quite ripe enough.  Also, I really cannot complain after they let me pick six pounds of strawberries, for free, on Friday!

This past week we found a veggie that none of us like. Red beets. I found a recipe that sounded super yummy with roasting and an orange juice glaze. In theory I should have liked it, it didn't work that way however. I nearly spit mine out but remembered at the last minute that I couldn't expect my daughter to finish eating things that she didn't like if I couldn't do it as well.

So far the veggie eating has been going well!  As of now the count stands like this...

L likes... raw broccoli, cauliflower, any type of lettuce as long as it's with ranch, hulled peas, snow peas, sweet peas, bacon wrapped asparagus, kolrabi, spinach, and broccoli in soy sauce that is cooked but still slightly crisp.

L does not like... cooked broccoli with velveeta, asparagus in alfredo sauce, bok choy, and red beets.

I am impressed that she has liked more than she has disliked! 

My husband has only disliked the broccoli (cooked and raw), bok choy, kolrabi, and the red beets. Which, for him, is nothing short of a miracle considering that when we first started dating, eleven years ago, he ate green beans.  That's it.  That was the only veggie...seriously!  

As for me, the only thing I have not enjoyed was the bok choy and red beets. 

I think as of right now we are doing pretty well with this!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Naked Egg Experiment

L has been going through a big "experiment" stage. As in, she wants to do "experiments" constantly.  Sometimes I make them pretty simple like dripping vinegar into baking powder/baking soda. This week's experiment actually was a serious experiment.  The naked egg!  It's been pretty fun to do and L particularly enjoyed freaking her Nana out with the egg.

We started with a simple, large sized, egg...

We submerged it in a glass of vinegar and it began, immediately, to eat away at the shell of the egg...

After a day we poured out the vinegar, into my hand.  The egg had a grayish-see through look to it. So we repeated the vinegar step again. The next day when we poured it into my hand it had no shell! It was really squishy and fun to play with! Success!!

After that we put some food coloring into water and put the egg back in it. We left it for the evening, it dyed the egg inside the lining, and it looked like this...

We decided to go one step further and put the egg into a glass filled with corn syrup.  It deflated the egg and made it really hard to pick up.

I think that our final step will be to add it to a cup of water again to watch it inflate again. And then I'll most likely let L play with it until she ends up popping the delicate outer layers of the egg. Ha!

All of this, brought to you by the power of osmosis!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Strawberry Picking

After L and I got back from camping we went to Strite's for our strawberry picking adventure for their CSA event. They let us roam their fields and pick as many as we wanted for free. They weren't going to be able to make any real profit from the ones still in the field so we were allowed in for a picking free-for-all.

I honestly thought we'd pick three before L got bored. I was wrong! They were strawberries everywhere in the fields. It turned into a little strawberry hunt for my daughter.

We ended up picking six pounds of strawberries in only twenty minutes.  I think that we would have stayed longer, since L was having so much fun but she started getting hungry.

Next year? I am going for the long haul, picking as many as my body will allow and making strawberry jam, and strawberry pies, and strawberry bread, and strawberry cobbler, and strawberry shortcake, and strawberry......

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Camping Fun

L and I went camping overnight with my parents Thursday night and came home Friday.  We had a lot of fun! Needless to say, I am exhausted now!!!! Here are some pics of our fun.  The last is a picture of my husband and I at dinner Friday night. I look wrecked, don't I?