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Showing posts from May, 2009

How To: Fun on a Dime in Lincoln, NE

Before it gets too humid in Lincoln, a great way to have a fun family night is at Holmes Lake( roughly 60th and Normal)
Here Lu and Dad are flingin' algae (no, I'm not kidding!) I think they were scaring a group of ducks that were right around the corner, honking at them.
Lu throws a stick in the water in typical boyhood fashion. I am walking far away from algae splashes with Anikka!
Sleeping baby in the slingand beautiful weather made for a nice night. When she gets a bit older and can be on my back, I am planning on making this one, from Sew Liberated.
We packed a picnic dinner (grapes, PB&J, water, hard-boiled eggs and some chips). Although it sounds like a simple & plain meal, it is so fun enjoying the outdoors with a picnic! We are lucky enough to have a covered porch and eat outside as often as we can, but being by the water and listening to all the outside noises is truly peaceful! Don't forget your home-made bug spray!
Hop on over to BabyMast blog for some kidd…

Giveaway: Progressive Pioneer

Hey All,
I am posting an entry to win (count that, FIVE entries!) some cloth diapers from Progressive Pioneer'sgiveaway. I love this Salt Lake City Mama's blog, and she has had some amazing giveaways in the past! If you check out the left side of my blog, her button is perpetually there!
Hop on over to win some cloth diapersfrom Maine Cloth Diaper Company! photocredit

Movie Review: The Secret Life of Bees

Movie Review: The Secret Life of Bees, based on the story by Sue Monk Kidd

I first read this story about a year after it had come out. I was working at Barnes and Noble and had seen the bookon the Bestsellers End-Cap for a long time and had never given it a second glance until a customer who bought it from me was telling me it was one of the most touching stories about love she had ever read. So, without much prodding after that, I picked it up, and loved it.
When I heard a movie version was coming out, I was thrilled, and although I knew I wouldn't make it to the movies, I saved it for myself on Netflix. Let me prelude by saying that I loved all the actresses in this movie (and actors, too, although it is mostly about women) and had seen them in other roles that I liked, and had won them Oscars.
Queen Latifa, Alicia Keys (!), Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, and Sophie Okonedo all did a spectacular job, and by the end of the movie, each one holds a lot of respect in the viewers'…

Review: We Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich

Book Review: We Took To the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich
"There is nothing that I so admire as purposefulness. I have an enormous respect for people who know exactly what they are doing and where they are going. Such people are compact and integrated. They have clear edges. They give an impression of invulnerability and balance, and I wish that I were one of them" (Rich, 13). I first heard of this book via Soulemama's blog (yes, I even love her taste in literature, let alone crafts) and thought it looked like an interesting read. I checked it out at the library, and got the first version, printed in 1942. This book was a fascinating read, light-hearted and easy to understand, and somehow, a peaceful read, too, which was just what I was looking for. This is a memoir of sorts about the author whose family up and left the "Outside" for a more simple life deep in the backwoods of Maine. With no running water, heat from a wood-burning stove, and only a few sets of …

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

Review: Boomerang! Audio Downloads

Review: Boomerang! Audio Downloads
"If television is chewing gum for the eyes, Boomerang! is granola for the ears. ... Sound wonderful? It is, it is."- The Washington Post
(taken from website)

This is a truly unique kids program that is reminiscent of the good ole' days when families used to sit by the radios to listen to their favorite characters over the waves. I first heard of Boomerang! from This Vintage Chica's online children's' nature journal, The Magnifying Glass(two separate blogs, she has a few more, too! The M. Glass is co-hosted by Blue Yonder ;did I mention I have a thing for craft/homeschooling blogs?:) They were having a giveaway to celebrate the new blog and one of the prizes was a few "episodes" of Boomerang! audio, with the winners choosing any versions they would like to own. Well, me being me, I signed up with my favorite idea of an episode to win one for free, and what do you know? The owner contacted me asking if I'd like an e…

How To: Plant a Garden With A Toddler

Warning: Adorable pictures of the Bug disguised as a "how -to" follow:
First, make sure you have a decent-sized plot of land, topsoil, wanted plants, and a spade! (The one thing we have been missing, the stinkin' spade!) We recommend The Claw, also. Give your toddler ample time to play with all the aforementioned necessities, making sure they don't step all over one of your tomatoes.......
Toddlers love to 'help' with adult jobs. Make sure you account for double the amount of time it would take you to do something if they are going to help. Water in their own watering can makes them feel special. We got a cheap-y from the $1 section at Target, but I love these tools from this site, and am thinking about getting some for his birthday in June. 
Make sure you catch a shot of the toddler up-close, especially right after a big fall that they are just recovering from...teary eyed and mad. They will appreciate it later in life that you took the time to show them how to…

How To: Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

How To: DIY Cheap Laundry Detergent Although this is not a new thing, there are a number of people trying to remake their household cleaning supplies by using natural products or making their own to save money. I thought this would be an interesting way to stretch our dollars at home, and decided I was up for the science experiment!
With recipes all over the web, there are plenty of ways to do this. I, being me, like to spice things up a bit, and make my own version. One of my favorite home books, Homemade (by Readers' Digest) is an excellent place to start in making things from scratch with basic home essentials like the all-inclusive Baking Soda.
With my bucket from the $1 section at Super Saver, I set to work finding the following products: Baking Soda, Borax, and Washing Soda (+ a bar of soap like, Ivory, if you don't have that at home...I used my on-hand Dove soap). For a dry version, you can just use a mixture of all the powders, but if you'd like to make more, you can …

Book Review: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg

"It started at the grocery store, as trouble so often does. It was early winter, high citrus season, and there were some especially lovely oranges in the produce section. They were heavy, smooth-skinned, and plump...Unable to help myself, I bought a dozen. Then I lugged them home, cursing myself all the way. What is a single girl supposed to do with a dozen oranges?...There was just one answer: cake. There is no problem that cannot be solved with cake. It's the right answer to everything" (Wizenburg, 86).
I have a problem with food memoirs. I love to read, and I love to eat, but the whole cooking thing gets in the way. Reading Molly Wizenburg's A Homemade Lifehad me drooling from the first chapter, and with her genuine excerpts of family memories intertwined with her recipes, this book was wonderful. Wizenburg's writing is truly beautiful, her language very easy to read and full of wit; I read this in just two days! There are a number of really tasty baking recip…

How To: Win a Subscription!

How To: Win a Subscription to Mothering Magazine. (Hey, I'm trying to stick with the "guide"!)I have wanted a subscription to this magazine for quite a while now, and this is the perfect opportunity to win. Progressive Pioneeris holding a giveaway for two readers to win a 1-year subscription to this magazine + coupons. Here is my second entry: via the blog. If you'd like a chance to win yourself, hop over to her giveaway. Here's hopin'!

Book Review: Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy

Free Range Kids:Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry

by Lenore Skenazy, "America's Worst Mom"
"All around us, parents are clutching their children close, and it's easy to understand why. That is what pop culture is telling us to do...[this book is] here to help tease out the real dangers from the hype, to show you (and me) the things that are worth guarding against, as opposed to all the parental warnings based on fear mongering, bad information, and modern-day myths. The book also aims to figure out how we got to be so scared in the first place". (Intro)
Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy is a book that every parent-new or old-should read. Not only does it explain why we don't need those silly toilet safety locks or baby knee pads, but it gives confidence to the parent to allow their child's reigns to be loosened up a bit, giving them the confidence they so desperately want and need to develop into responsible and smart …