Boredom Buster | Scientific Journal

I hate those words "I am bored."  They are like nails on a chalkboard!  Every summer I try to come up with lots of creative ways to avoid those dreaded words escaping my children's lips.  One of the things we do each summer is tune-in to Africam.com and watch for animals.  It is the coolest thing to watch monkeys, lions, elephants, hippos, and giraffes in their natural habitat.  We have to wait until summer because the "watering holes" don't get busy until 9pm our time.  I have been a fan of this site for years and I love watching it grow in popularity because they keep adding more live cameras and features.  Check out what we saw the other night:
Zebras!  There is this new feature where you can take a snapshot of the live animals you are seeing.  There miiiiiiight be times I am watching without the kids so this comes in handy.  Anywho.

This summer, I decided to make this part of our "summer learning" plan.
(yes, I am one of those Moms who make their kids do school work on their time-off)
This is in our "science" portion.  I created this worksheet for my kids to record their findings:
I think you can click on it to enlarge and print for yourself if you'd like.
If there is a big enough interest, I can put a PDF version on my website.

We don't just sit and watch Africam.com all day.  We use this worksheet for investigating clouds, nature walks, experiments we find on the internet, bugs, and anything else scienc-ie.

Now go getcher science on, People!

Summertime Toneout

I am not a big fitness guru and workouts like "CrossFit" frighten the heckles out of me.  I've trained for marathons and I love being out on the road running with my friends until my legs feel like jelly.  I needed something I could do at home when the weather wasn't cooperating or my schedule was packed.  Something in the comfort of my pajamas when necessary.

I am excited about the daily "toneout" I've created for myself.  I've been developing this for a couple of months and being the designer I am, I needed to make it purdy.

Here is my Daily 20 Toneout:
20 Jumping Jacks
20 Squats
20 Second Plank
20 Side Crunches
20 Second Plank
20 Scissor Kicks
20 Push-Ups
20 Sit-Ups
20 Calf Raises
20 High Kicks
20 Tip-Toe Plie Squats
//Bonus Cardio //
20 Minutes of Dancing (or walking, jogging, biking, chasing my kids, etc.)

Without the cardio included, this workout generally takes me about 20-30 minutes.  Totally do-able with my kids around all summer!  If you are just beginning an exercise regimen, I think I'm supposed to tell you to talk to your doctor first, so do that.  You can begin this workout at your own pace starting with only 5 reps of each exercise and work your way up to more!  Try to do the exercises one after the other... the professionals tell me that's a good thing.

Feel free to print, pin, and share my Daily "Toneout" plan but, please give credit where credit is due.  Please and thank you.
Have a great workout... YOU CAN DO IT!

Confessions of a food hater.

Dear Abby,
I am a work at home Mom who hates the entire process of cooking. From the meal planning to the  shopping list right through to the dinner table, I hate it.  I know it is my duty to provide and prepare healthy meals for my family but, I just don't enjoy the process, at all.  I would much rather be scrubbing my toilet than deal with dinner. Oh, does that sound extreme? Well, that's my truth and I'm sticking to it.

I have tried couponing, various meal planning systems, and the ever-loving crockpot.  I have three of the most picky eaters on the planet so when I spend hours planning, preparing, and serving a meal only to have my kids stick up their noses to the food served, I'm spent.  I am a vegetarian, my husband is a total carnivore, and there is no telling when or what my kids will eat.  Hiring a full time chef is not in the budget but, definitely the first thing we will buy with our lottery winnings.

I see friends, bloggers, instagram feeds, facebook posts, and Pinterest pins of these other incredible women providing healthy meals for their families every single day and I want to be like them... really I do. I just can't stand being in the kitchen for longer than I have to [are you hearing me stomp my foot and pound my fist on the kitchen counter?]. Listen, I've got years ahead of me before I'm being fed daily meals in a retirement home (totally looking forward to my days of endless Bingo, by the way).  I know I have to cook so, I want to enjoy it!  How can I change my attitude and perspective about food?

Your advice is greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,
Crying In The Kitchen (and it ain't just the onions)

Ducktape Pinwheel Bow :: Tutorial

My daughter is starting her next volleyball season and I wanted to make a hair bow for her and her teammates.  Normally, I would just buy a bunch of bows from the fabulous Bliss Baby Designs but she's on a maternity leave and I couldn't ask her to make them for me on such short notice.  I headed to Michael's to gather ideas and supplies, searched the internet for some inspiration and came up with a Ducktape Pinwheel Bow:

I always love finding easy projects and thought I'd share a step-by-step tutorial so you can make your own hair bows.  This seriously only took about 5-10 minutes per bow(depending on how many interruptions you get!)  I made 9 of them for her teammates and can't wait to see them on the girls!  Okay, let's get to the tutorial.

SUPPLIES:
1 roll of Ducktape (1.88 x 10 yards)
1 roll white satin ribbon (4" x 10 yards)
scissors
glue gun/sticks
optional: jewelry wire (26 gauge)
optional: hairclips

Notes:
  • I made 10 bows with the roll of Ducktape and ribbon and have plenty leftover for more!
  • The jewelry wire I had on hand and isn't necessary but, helps with assembly.
  • You can substitute the satin ribbon with any kind of fabric or ribbon.  I choose the 4" wide satin white because of cost and I could fit two strips of tape.
STEP 1:
You will need to measure out approximately 27" of the ribbon and the tape.

I rolled out the ribbon first and then applied the tape to the very edge of the ribbon.  Be sure you stick the tape to the back of the ribbon (aka, the non-shiny side).

Plug in your hot glue gun so its ready to go when you need it!









STEP 2:
Once you have stuck the tape on, you can see how there is plenty of space to add another strip of tape to the other side.

After you have stuck down the tape and smoothed it out, grab your scissors.  Cut along the inside edge to get your strip for the bow.

No need to worry about the ribbon frays because the tape will keep it from shredding.

Repeat this step for the remainder ribbon if you are making more than one hair bow.





STEP 3:
Trim the edge of your strip at angles or diagonal (your preference here).  I did angles because I like the look!

Fold the ribbon like so (see photo)







STEP 4:
Pinch the folds together to start forming your bow.  This takes a little work to shape the pleats of the bow to your liking.  You'll get it, just work with it a bit.









STEP 5 (optional):
I had some jewelry wire laying around so I used it to secure the pinch.  Totally not necessary but, it is helpful so you can use both hands to wrap the ribbon for the next step.









STEP 6:
Cut a strip of ribbon approximately 7" and tie a knot in the center.

PS, I wish I would have gotten a larger ribbon with a pattern for this center part but, I ran out of time.  The other option is you could make a 7" strip of the tape/ribbon combo like in Step 1 to use for the center.





STEP 7:
(Front view of ribbon on bow)
Place a dot of your hot glue on the front center of the bow and place the knot of ribbon on top.  Flip the bow over.

Using another dot of glue, criss-cross the ribbon over the back of the bow and secure with glue.  Let it dry.








STEP 8:
Place the hair clip on the back side of the bow and secure with hot glue.











STEP 9:
I criss-crossed the ribbon over the underside of the clip and secured with more hot glue.

Trim the extra length of ribbon and your done!









Doesn't that look adorable?  Let me know if you try creating your own Ducktape Pinwheel Bow.


Oh yes, I forgot to include the hair clips in the supply photo so here they are (also found at Michaels!)

Shopping with Purpose

We all need to shop on occasion for a gift or to replace a worn out pair of sneakers.  This post is about encouraging you to think about being more intentional with your purchases.  There are a lot of companies out there who support great causes but, few who make it their mission to change the world.  You won't find many "sales" from these companies because there is a bigger picture than the bottom line of financials.  These companies are changing lives and they are giving us the opportunity to do the same.

Three of my favorite companies to support are:

SEVENLY

.

www.sevenly.org

One Week//One Cause

Each week

Sevenly

features a new shirt specially designed to support a different cause. 

World change is how they roll

.  100% of the funding goes to the cause (not operational costs) which is pretty fantastic if you ask me.  They are doing good everywhere.  They have supported organizations who focus on sex trafficking, autism, down syndrome, hunger, cancer, adoption, clean water, homelessness, eating disorders, education, child soldiers, and so many more.  If you have a cause near and dear to your heart,

Sevenly

has most likely supported it.  The reach of the

Sevenly

movement is across the globe and in many ways, immeasurable.  I also need to mention that the clothing designs are fab-u-lous.  I love the work of

Drew Milton

and his stuff is printed on

Sevenly

shirts which makes me happy.

TOMS

.

www.toms.com

One For One

With every purchase of a

Toms

product, a child in need will receive.  There are over 50 countries where

Toms

has connected with Giving Partners that assist Toms in developing products to meet the needs of those less fortunate.

I LOVE my

Toms

.  They are the most comfortable slip-ons I've owned in a long time.

31 Bits.

www.31bits.com

Fashion For Good

Jewelry.  Beautiful, handmade jewelry.  I was introduced to 31 Bits by my friend,

Katie

last year.  I bought a necklace from her party and it is one of my most favorite pieces of jewelry.

Every time I wear this necklace, I think about the hands that made it.  The hands that rolled each piece of paper to create these beads.  The hands that strung them all together to make this necklace.  The hands that live across the world from me.

31 Bits

has created this amazing opportunity for Ugandan women to make and sell their jewelry.  not only does

31 Bits

bridge the gap between our worlds but, they are teaching these women a new way of life.  They support these women in all realms of life... health, business, community, finances, and education.

I am sure there are other companies out there who focus on being world changers.

If you have a favorite company that you support, let me know about it in the comments section!