Sunday, April 29, 2012

KID'S DAY at the Local Nursery

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Am I the only parent that hears the words "Kid's Day" and "free" and I am all about it? Never mind the fact that my child was probably one of the youngest that attended this Kid's Day and actually did the crafts. :) 
Decorating his plate and getting ready to put his grass on his sponge. This should grow grass from the sponge... It will be fun for him to watch. 

A local nursery hosted a Kid's Day and had five different crafts the kids could do, sales for the parents, and then ice cream for the kids (shhh, I didn't tell my boy about the ice cream). I was so excited all week about this... a part of me was bummed that I don't have that side kick in California to do all of these fun things with like I did in Japan... but I still went. We had fun. 

Painting his Garden Marker.... should have just had him paint me eight for my garden.

Poor little dude couldn't really reach the table where he could see.. but he managed. I love watching him do art, because he is so great at it... so particular... and so into it. This boy amazes me. It hit me as I drove home thinking about how I miss friends that enjoy doing the same things as me, such as taking our kids everywhere for these type of things, that I am so blessed. I don't need those relationships that I have had before. I was blessed to have them... but I don't have to have them everywhere we go. I am slowly, slowly becoming okay with it. My priority right now is my family.. and as I am growing older, that is definitely how I should keep it. I am just so blessed to have a husband that loves me and a son that is so very precious. 

So into his painting...

I think it is great that the nursery put this function on. It really promotes the natural way of eating... and the kids can learn so much from it. After we finished with the crafts, Noah and I went and explore around the nursery. He wanted to smell ALL of the flowers. He is precious. Of course we smelled a lot of them... and I would lift him to smell the ones up high... He is so cute when he smells.. because instead of breathing in... He does a quick blow out... (Go ahead and do it so you understand).. it is just so precious to hear that and watch it over, and over, and over. 

I had him sit on the floor to color his flower stamper.

There is corn in each egg shell. Once
they sprout up, we can break them
apart and then plant them just like
that into our garden. So excited to
watch these grow.. He loved doing this.
This is a sponge with grass on it. We keep the sponge watered
and we can watch the grass grow up tall. We don't do anything with
this except watch it. He will love watching and touching this.
These are flowers. This is a water bottle cut
a little more than half way. We put
the soil and flower seeds in the top.
When we got home we put water in
the bottom and then took the lid off of
the top part. They say to add water to
it each day.  
I plan to do all of these with my daycare kids, including my little monkey, in the next few weeks. Doing any kind of project is so fun for these kids... and they are learning so much. 

Thanks for looking at our cool Kid's Day projects! 

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Old fence turned rustic wooden box

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So my husband is very creative himself, so I have decided to brag on some of his work on the blog today! 

Last week he was asked to help clean up a ladies yard, so when I got home he had a truck load of scrap wood, and limbs, etc.  He was taking out all the wood and stacking it in our understand this wood was old and had nails all in it. I had no idea why he wanted to keep it, and really just felt like it made more of a mess than anything.  Take a look at what he was putting in our garage. 

Then he came up with the brilliant idea to use the wood to make an outdoor box.  We haven't totally decided how we are going to use the box yet, but we are planning to keep it on our patio.  Maybe use it to keep our outdoor cushions in when they are not in use, or to put fire wood in so it doesn't get wet all the time or just sit out in the yard.  The box could also double as a small patio table, or extra seating on our patio, there are so many options on how we can use it! 

He started the box by just building a frame, then basically he covered the frame with the wood.  

The great thing about this box is that is didn't cost us any money. He had the extra wood laying around for the frame, and he had the rope for the handles.  He did have to spend a few dollars on extra screws, but still those will be used for other items too.  

All in all I think our new Rustic Wooden Box looks pretty good!!! I'm very proud of his work! 

Don't forget to FOLLOW us and LINK UP to our Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #11! The party is going on even longer this week than usual! 

Linking up to Metamorphosis Monday
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday #6

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Happy Wednesday Blogger Friends! 

I hope this blog finds you all well. Those of you on your journey to your ultimate weightless like myself, I hope this blog finds you doing great! We all have ups and downs .. but I am slowly realizing the important thing is when I have a down moment- to grab the reigns again quickly and jump back on. Too often I found myself in an eating binge. I am so thankful that I haven't done that in a while. I am thankful that I have slowly been learning how to pace myself and how to practice self control when it comes to food. Why does food have to be such a demon? 

Thank you Google

I have a new love... Coconut! Coconut Oil, Coconut Butter, Coconut Vinegar, and Coconut Sugar. The Coconut Research Center tells us a lot about the perks of using Coconut Products. It could be true that this is just a fad for now, but I am loving it. I am loving cooking with this stuff and using it. I have found many websites that list a whole bunch of ways to use Coconut Oil. Soon- and very soon.. I plan to test it out in my hair... I will let you know how that goes. 

Thank you Google

Do any of you use Coconut Products? If so... will you tell me what you use it for besides cooking? Tonight I put the vinegar in my salad and it was yum. Last night my boys had the butter on their bread- they loved it. It is all so interesting to me. 

Thank you Google

As I have been reading and studying articles online the past week I have realized that we need to be eating slightly different around here. I have read about the many importances of Organic Eating. I am so excited that the Farmers Market is starting up this weekend here in California... I can get the food straight from the farm! :) 

Thank you Google

As far as my garden- I am so proud of it. I will take pictures for you and post when I Started and now next week. My plants are growing great. It is so awesome to think that I know exactly what is going in there and I am growing it! Well the sun and water are... but I haven't killed them yet! I am so proud of it. 

Thank you Google

So how is your weightless going?

Here are our stats:

WLW Stats for BIG SIS:
Starting Weight: XXX (held private for now)

Wed. 3/21: -13lbs total

Wed. 4/3: -16lbs total

Wed. 4/10: -22lbs total

Wed. 4/17: -25lbs total

Wed. 4/25: -29lbs total

Starting Weight: 170

Wed. 3/28: -3lbs total
Wed. 4/10: -6.5lbs total
Wed. 4/17: -7.5lbs total
Wed. 4/25: -7.5lbs total

Don't forget to FOLLOW us and LINK UP to our Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #11! The party is going on even longer this week than usual! 

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #11

Pin It Happy Tuesday Blogging Friends! I know I have said it before but it seems that Tuesdays just sneak up on us. I We love looking at all of your crafts, recipes, and any other creative thing you post on our party. I get so many ideas on things to cook, make, and thinks I only wish I had the time to do. It is so nice to see so many people put such an effort in making sure their families are eating healthy and making their homes... well, their home! It is always so hard to pick our favorites... but these are a few that we enjoyed.

So.. here goes!!! 

The mom over at Just Us Four has given us a fantastic art craft combining the use of crayons and letters! I have used the crayons and hair dryer idea for a sign I made for my daycare... but I really like this idea. It gives the children a way to create something unique with their name and they are able to use their artistic abilities. This is awesome for me too because we are just starting our curriculum on the alphabet. Thank you so much for sharing. Go check her out and look how adorable her sweet family is.

Geni from Color Me Domestic created such a beautiful Spring Mantle. I haven't redone my mantle since Christmas and that makes me sad. I love this idea. I think I may have to go look for some things to create something as beautiful as Geni did. I totally love her bunny family portrait and she even has a tutorial- how lucky are we??? I love how she painted her vase and shared her experience to help us do it right the first time, thanks! The egg branches are adorable! I just love this mantle. Go check it out for yourself and get some ideas for your mantle if you have not done it yet! So pretty.

I'm not sure about you guys, but my family loves curry. This could be because we lived in Asia for three years. Simple Sweet N Savory has created an amazing kabob curry. I would be lying if I said I did not want to try it for my family. It looks like something my husband would totally love. She gives step by step directions on how to make this and helpful tips so it will turn out correctly. Along with the kabob curry, you should take a stroll through her blog because she has a lot of great recipes. Thanks for sharing! 

We hope you enjoy all of these fun posts like we do! 
Now it's your turn to join in on the party and link up all your fun stuff! 
We want to see any and everything that you are up to! 
From Home makeovers, craft projects, DIY, recipes, tips, kids games or crafts, or anything else you are up to!!
Just Remember....
Please SUBSCRIBE to our blog on the left sidebar!
Also, I hope you have noticed our new blog layout, and we have moved our Naturally-Nifty Party Buttons to the top tab, so take one of those and put it on your blog!
And please stop by our FACEBOOK page and like us there too!

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tips on how to alter your own denim shorts

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So I went to our church garage sale today, and hit the jack pot! I found some great stuff, including some new items for my closet, some pieces of crystal, and an old sewing machine desk, with the sewing machine in it! And all I spent was $25. 

It was the last day and the last few hours of the garage sale so everything was half price. One of the great deals they had was stuffing a bag for only $5! So my friend and I stuffed our bag full of random goodies. and then I paid ONLY $20 for the sewing machine desk! That is such a great deal! I will be posting about that soon! 

One nice piece of clothing I grabbed was these long Merona shorts from Target.  They are a great light weight denim material, but they were extra long, so I decided to alter them myself! 

It was pretty easy, but I loved the outcome so much that I wanted to show you how they turned out and how easy it is to do! 

Basically I tried the long shorts on before, and looked at another pair of shorts I had against them to see what length I wanted them to be. 

I wanted mine to be rolled up some at the bottom, so I added an extra inch or so. 

I marked the outter and inner seam with a permanent marker on both legs, then took them off.  

See the marks on either side. 

I'm not a perfectionist, and like I said I am going to roll mine up, so I just cut them without worrying about it being perfectly straight. 

Did a pretty good job at keeping it straight. 

Both sides cut!

Looks pretty good I think! 

Really easy, and I gained a great new pair of denim shorts for the summer, which I definitely needed!! Try it out with some thrifted pants, or just some old pants that you don't wear anymore! Don't be afraid, as long as you don't cut too short, you pretty much can't mess them up! 

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Cinnamon-Swirl Wheat Bread

Pin It my recent post, Garage Sale Saturday I showed you all the wonderful $2.50 bread maker that I bought.  So after cleaning it up, I finally had time to get in the kitchen and make some bread....and if you don't know, bread with yeast takes A LONG TIME to make!! Because of all the rising it has to do :-) 
Anyways, I love all things cinnamon, so I wanted to do a cinnamon wheat bread.  So I found a good looking recipe and got to work. Halfway through the rising process, I realized that I couldn't actually use my bread maker ha ha.  Because inside the bread maker it has a stirrer thing, (don't know all the official words).  And since I was making a cinnamon swirl bread, which meant I had to flatten it out and roll it up, if the machine stirred it, it would mess up the roll.  
If anyone is an experience bread MAKER user, please let me know if there is a way to get around this.  Instead of trying and risking messing my 3 hour masterpiece up, I decided just to bake it in the oven and I would later come back to the bread maker.  ha 

So, I made the bread and it turned out wonderfully! It tasted like the Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread or cinnamon bagels you get from the store! So yummy! and my husband loved it!! 

Anyways, I wanted to share this great recipe with you....and it's easy, but does take a while.  With the mixing, rising, and baking it took over 3 hours!! 

First you mix the dough
Nice ball of dough ready to rise for 1.5 hours. 
I used my Kitchen Aid mixer and it worked great, below with the recipe there are specific instructions on how to use this type of mixture while making this bread! 
Roll it out! 

Nice rectangle of dough, ready for a yummy cinnamon mixture! 
Next time I think I will put chopped pecans in with the cinnamon mixture! 

All rolled up
Dough in the bread pan, ready to rise for another hour! 

Bread all done!
*I didn't take a lot of pictures of the finished product because I didn't have the egg glaze on top, so it wasn't as pretty as it could've been :-) But still tasted wonderful! 

Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread Recipe
Makes 1 loaf

1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup warm water
1 (1/4th oz) package of yeast
1/2 cup sugar + 1 tbsp
6 Tbsp softened butter (or earth balance buttery spread) divided
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1.5 Tbsp cinnamon, divided
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 egg + 2 Tbsp warm water

Combine warm milk, water, yeast, and tsp sugar in a measuring cup and let sit for 10 minutes, until foamy.

While the yeast is resting, combine the flours, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tbsp softened butter, salt and 1 tbsp cinnamon in a large bowl.  
*If you are using a kitchen aid, use a paddle attachment (as seen above), and start to mix slow. Then, drizzle in the water mixture while the machine is running.  Increase speed to high and mix for about 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic. 

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough ball inside.  Cover it with a towel, and let it rise in a warm area for 1.5 hours. 

While dough is rising you can mix together the remaining 3 Tbsp of butter and the extra 1.5 tsp of cinnamon, and the 1 Tbsp of sugar in a small bowl until smooth.  

When the dough has risen to double it's size, roll out with a rolling pin on a floured surface to a long rectangle.  Smear the butter mixture all over the top and roll the dough up tightly. 

Place dough in your greased bread pan, cover with cloth, and let it rise in a warm spot for another hour.  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together the egg and warm water then brush all over the loaf. 

Bake for 40 minutes.


Don't forget! Stop by our Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #10 and link up your great projects!! It is up until Friday at midnight!! 
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