Showing posts from May, 2011

12 Weeks of Summer - Week 12

As I was organizing my blog, I realized that I forgot to post the last part of my 12 Weeks of Summer series. So I looked through my computer files and found the last week of the series was meant to be a detective/spy theme.


Field Trip:Laser Tag
Try Something New: Fill a box with plaster of paris and make your own shoe print
Library: Police and I-Spy books
Crafts: Fingerprint animals
Kids Cook
Rainy Day Fun: I-Spy
Outdoor: Hide and Seek
Movie: Spy Kids
Craft Challenge:Create a spy gadget
Weekly Challenge: Give clues all week to solve a "crime" (Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar)

Food Network Themed Birthday Party

Happy Birthday Lexi!
For Lexi's 11th birthday party we did a Food Network themed party. Here is the activities we had for this party. Waiting for guest to arrive: Balloons, lots of them in all shapes and sizes. Its great fun at this age.
Make Pizzas I gave each girl a square of baking (parchment) paper and had them right their names on the paper in pencil. Then I gave them partially baked pizza crust which I made myself. You can also use Pillsbury pizza dough or any other store bought pizza dough. I just partially baked mine to keep the cook time down. I gave them sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and some other toppings and let them create the pizzas how they liked. Decorate Aprons While I baked the pizzas, I had the girls decorate aprons. I made the aprons, but they sell pre-made aprons at any craft store. I supplied them with sharpies and small piece of cardboard for them to decorate on to over bleed through. I wanted to let them use puff paint and other paints, but I realized it wouldn'…

Container Garden Success

Earlier in this spring I made a post about a Portable Container Garden which I planned to use for my garden this year. I just wanted to post and say that my garden was a success! I have sugar snap peas and lettuce that are doing amazing. I have some herbs that are doing great as well. The tomatoes and peppers do not seem to be having any problems, and my pumpkin plant seems to be making progress. 
For those who are interested in container gardening, here are some tips that I have learned over the years.
1. Be creative with your containers, do not feel obligated to buy the $50 pot unless you just really think it is pretty. 2. Place gravel or some form of small rocks at the bottom of the container. This allows the water to drain better, which prevents the roots from getting soggy. 3. Make sure you do not try to grow too much in a pot. Read the seed package to see how far apart you can grow your plants. Some plants it is ok to grow several in a small area, mostly herbs, while others like tom…

Alpine Strawberries in Aerogarden

I love my aerogarden! I have grown many herbs in it, but I have yet to try and grow something that might seem a little more challenging. This year I decided to try and grow strawberries, but after searching for an aerogarden kit for strawberries I came up empty handed. I was pretty disappointed since my aerogarden has a strawberry setting. I ended up buying a Master Gardener set which allows you to plant your own seeds and I bought some Alpine Strawberry seeds.

I planted the seeds according to the directions and didn't give much thought to it until about 2 or 3 weeks later when nothing was growing. I did a quick search online and found out there is an art to growing strawberries in the aerogarden. I decided to give it another week and if I didn't have anything, then I would clear it out and grow something else like tomatoes or peppers.

Thankfully I got a few sprouts by the end of that week. Now I have a bunch of strawberry plants growing quite nicely. While my strawberries ar…

Mail Order Snacks

In my quest to live a healthier lifestyle, I am always on the look out for healthy snacks. I love snacks, I eat a lot of little meals all day. I have cereal for breakfast, then my second breakfast which is really just a snack. Then I have lunch, and later in the afternoon I have a snack, and sometimes I will sneak in a snack before dinner. Pretty sad huh? Especially since most easy snack foods are bad for you. I have also been baking a lot, so my snacks lately have been homemade candy bars or cup cakes.

Needless to say I was delighted when I found an email in my inbox from Groupon letting me try out a mail order snack company called Graze. You enter your food preferences and they surprise you with four different healthy snacks that come in your mail slot (or for my American friends it would fit in your mailbox). They include a booklet with the nutritional information and they claim their snacks are designed to keep your blood sugar level even throughout the day which decreases your u…

Organizing your Chores with a Reminder Service

Things have finally started to settle down for me after our move to London. I'm starting to create a daily routine with a weekly schedule of events. To help me keep up on what I'm suppose to do each day I have created a list of ideal tasks to complete each day of the week. I then created a list of things to do once a month, and allotting a day of the week to do my monthly chore because it would be more likely to get done if I didn't have to make extra time for my monthly chores.

I found a website where I could enter my to-do list and how frequently I'd like to complete each task. There are many reminder service websites, but I personal liked Remember the Milk. It was easy to create the list, edit the details, and there is a way to set the priority level of each task. Another nice feature is that it lets you divide up your tasks into categories for Personal, Study, and Work. It also allows you to keep track of completed tasks and sets up your trends, scary huh?

Now that …

Homemade Popsicles

My kids love ice pops. We used to all have one a day during the hot summers of Georgia. The ones we get here don't taste great and are very expensive. So I invested in popsicle molds and tried many online recipes. We have had so much success that we ended up buying more popsicle molds. 
Here are our favorite recipes and ideas:
Pudding Pops - make a package of pudding with 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream rather than milk. Mix it until it is a mousse. It takes a little practice getting the mousse into the molds, but it is worth it. Also we use this recipe for cake filling.

Regular Popsicle - Make a package of Jello according to the directions, but also add a cup of sugar which helps prevent the formation of ice crystals so it is easier to eat. The flavor of these popsicles is very mild, so if you want more flavor then just add a package of the same flavor of Kool-Aid.
Fruit Pops - I get my kids to eat a serving of fruits with these popsicles. You need to find a good flavor of fruit smoothi…

50 Dinner Ideas

After trying to create a monthly menu plan for awhile now, I had almost given up. It never fails that everyone is unhappy with what I planned. I decided to make a list of dinner ideas, with a list of breads and a list of sides. Then I made everyone ELSE fill out my menu with the concept that they will fill in one meat dish, a veggie side, and a carb dish for each night of the week. Now Saturday is our family pizza night, but they picked, mixed, and matched the meals they wanted. I filled in the blanks of course, but now if they complain they don't like dinner all I have to say is that they need to put more input into next month's calendar. By giving them a list of 50 meals to choice from, the combinations are endless.

Fruit Stuffed Pork Roast Pecan Crusted Pork Chops Marinated Steaks Chicken Enchiladas Coconut Chicken Sweet & Sour Chicken Rotis Coconut Lime Shrimp Beef Roast – garlic, thyme, rosemary, soy sauce, and mustard seeds Asian Pork Roast – soy and hosin sauce Lasagna Chicke…