Friday, July 28, 2017

Connection Time!

It's that time of the month to take some time and catch up, sit down, drink a cup of coffee, and connect.  We've been so busy this summer and yet in so many ways, our summer has been so quiet.  I am savoring this time to slow down with the boys during the day.  There hasn't been as much rushing around in the monring and on most days, we just stay home.  It's really quite wonderful!  I've even ordered a lot of our snacky foods from Amazon pantry, I haven't done a ton of grocery shopping.  We've played games, built lego creations, made art, read books, and went on adventures.

Pretty much everything that I had on my summer project list hasn't been touched.  There just hasn't been time!  And I am okay with that.  Spending time with the boys has been wonderful.  As these kids get older, they are going to need less from me and right now, if they need me to play a game of Clue or Uno with them, I am going to jump right in.  The time they are kids is flying by and so I have just been savoring.

We only have two weeks left of summer.  Super sad face over here.  We've got several more Summer Pinterest Challenges planned (we are just having too much fun doing them!), so be on the lookout for those!  Also, have you done anything inspired by Pinterest?  I would love to hear about it.  Post a picture on my facebook page or on instagram and use the #ootrbsummerpinchallenge so we can encourage each other in this little community over here.

So. . . July has been amazing! We had a wonderful time with family swimming and doing fireworks.  This year, we bought a ton of glow sticks for the kids and they were a big hit!  I love our time with family and watching my sons play with their cousins.  Then, it was time to get ready for our vacation.  Jon took two weeks off and we headed out to Chicago for our biggest adventure yet!  The kids walked and walked and we saw soooo many things.  It was really wonderful!  I will probably do a blog post about Chicago and Kids because it is a great place for a family vacation!

I've also been meeting up with some sweet friends and studying Romans with She Reads Truth.  We just finished it and I am so sad that it will be ending.  We are celebrating this week with an Italian Feast.   I can't wait!
We even managed to get to the library for their science morning!  The boys had such a great time learning about matter and making flubber, blubbles, and making balloons explode! 

Now, time for our little exercise. Each month, I post the same starter questions and I go through the list and answer each ones.  Then, you, pick a few (or all) and head to the bottom of the post and comment on the blog with yours or head to Facebook or Instagram and comment there.  Here we go:

Outside my window. . . the sun is shining.  A lot.  It's really hot and we are hiding inside.

I am thinking
that I should get started on planning Ethan's birthday.  We finally picked a theme and it is going to be EPIC!

From the kitchen
not much is happening.  It's just too hot to cook, I'm out of chocolate chips, and ants.  We have ants hanging out in our kitchen sink.  I've cleaned and sprayed and cleaned and they keep finding new spots.  They will go away eventually.  Anyways, I am not even cooking dinner tonight!  Yay for take out!

I am wearing
yoga pants and a t-shirt.  I actually got dressed earlier to take the kids to swim lessons, but I mopped the floor and cleaned up ants to we are totally comfortable over here!

I am creating
absolutely nothing right now.  Maybe that will change this weekend.  We will see. 

I am going
on back to school dates with each of my boys this weekend.  It's our anual tradition where they I get some one on one time with each kiddo before school starts.  We raid Target and stock up on school supplies and go eat at a restaurant of their choice.  They are so excited!

I am reading
The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell and it is sooo good!  If you are looking for tangible ways to build community in your neighborhood, this is a great idea! 

I am hoping
to find a new blow drying brush.  Mine broke this morning and it's only like 2 months old.  I loved the sweet thing and it was wonderful.  Now I don't know what to do because I need one to last more than a couple of months.   Recommendations anyone?  I don't like the ones that have the big thick bristle with a ball at the end.  Super sad face over here.

I am hearing not much today.  The air conditioner is going because it's hot.  Bleh.  My brain is telling me that there is hope though. . . school starts soon which means it's almost pumpkin spice latte time! 

Around the House
we are cleaning and playing and honestly, it's been really hard to find a good balance this summer because there is constantly something being taken out or being built. 

One of my favorite things
has been sleeping in.  Man. . . I am really going to miss summer!  How many days until Thanksgiving break? 

A few plans for the week
I have sweet dates with both of my boys this weekend.  We have a few more Pinterest challenge pins to take on before summer is over, so there's that.  And, I think that I am going to Binge watch the last season of NCIS. 

What I am listening to
honestly, we've been playing the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack and Moana soundtrack non stop.  Really, that's our summer.  Confession: not really tired of it yet.  I'm okay with that.  Oh, and we've been on a Descendents 2 kick. . . so the kids have created their own soundtrack to that (I haven't told them the soundtrack actually exists. . . ha ha). 

  Now, it's your turn!  Grab your coffee and let's connect! You don't have to do them all! I can't wait to hear from you! You can even private message me if you don't want to make it public. 

Outside my window
I am thinking
From the kitchen
I am wearing
I am creating
I am going
I am reading
I am hoping
I am hearing
Around the House
One of my favorite things
A few plans for the week
What I am listening to

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Pinterest Summer: Solar S'mores

I am finding it hard to believe that summer vacation is almost over.  We went on vacation and came home and BAM! It feels like it's time to start the process of preparing for school.  Target is screaming for me to buy school supplies, the summer sales are begging for kids school clothes to be updated (this is kind of a must because we still have several more months of summer weather and so all those fall clothes that are starting to make an appearance to us are no good for several more months!).  Anyways, I am doing my best to continue on with our summer and checking things off our Pinterest bucket list. 

I had planned to post this one so it showed up on your feed while I was on vacation.  But getting everything ready to put all 4 of us on a plane and over halfway across the country ended up keeping me busy.  So, now I am home and trying very hard to keep on summering. 

This one was really fun for me because it brought back memories of making solar ovens in my 6th grade science class.  It also worked out great because we had just had an amazon delivery, so we had a box.  Perfect timing!  I was inspired by this pin and this pin.

We lined our box with aluminum foil and then placed some grahams with chocolate and a marshmallow on top and headed out to the backyard to do some solar baking.  I was going to wrap it with plastic wrap, but I was having problems getting the new package started, so I gave up and then got distracted.  We were also having triple digit temps when I did this, so it was really hot outside!

We did it in the early afternoon, when the sun is at it's peak.  It took a little bit longer than it would if your were roasting them over an open fire, but we aren't going to get that close to the sun. . . ha ha!  (that would be me trying to be funny. . . it's after 11:00 and I am pooped!).  I think we kept them on about 30 minutes to an hour.  The kids had fun going out every now and then to check on them. 
When the chocolate was melted and the marshmallow was pretty soft (it get's a bit wrinkly on the outside, but it super soft and melty on the inside!), we brought them in and topped them with another graham cracker and ate them.  They were approved by all!  Ethan gave a thumbs up and Weston. . . well does that chocolate grin tell you everything? 

This was a fun experiment. We attempted to cook some hotdogs right after, and they cooked a bit, but then the sun moved past our house and we had too much shade.  I definitely want to try this again with the hot dogs, but start earlier. 

For those wondering what we used that was Weston friendly in regards to Food Allergies. . . we used Annies Graham crackers, Thor dark chocolate, and Kraft Marshmallows.

Are you joining us on our Summer Pinterest Challenge?  Don't forget to post to instagram and use the hashtag #oftrbsummerpinchallenge. 

This is the 4th in our challenge.  Check out the other cool things to try!  
Directed Drawing
Pool Noodles

Saturday, July 08, 2017

A Pinterest Summer: Slime!!!!

Apparently this year's trends among elementary school students consisted of dabbing, bottle flipping, fidget spinning, and slime.   The dabbing and bottle flipping. . . my son is fully into those things.  The fidget spinners. . . I just can't.  Then the slime?  I noticed that there were lots of slime demos this spring at Michael's and Office Max  and then Ethan's teacher sent him home with a recipe.  We had made it before when the kids were much smaller.  But, because it was popular this year and a new recipe had emerged, we decided to empty some of our glue bottles (because they are going to be super cheap soon!) and make some slime.  We chose two different recipes and they both had wonderful results.  We all loved them!
The day we did this was our first quiet day at home in several days.  It was a much needed day.  In fact, I'm pretty sure Weston stayed half naked all day and Ethan lounged around in sweat pants and a t-shirt (forgetting that it is summer and triple digits!).  It was the perfect day to try out some slime recipes.   I was a little nervous about this recipe because it used contact solution.  I've also had some friends post to Facebook that their attempts hadn't worked.  But, we gave it a shot! 
We gathered our supplies and pulled out the Elmer's Glue recipe for colored slime.  The kids did most of the work and it came out perfect!  We put a bunch of different glitters in ours, too. . . just to make it a bit more fun! 
The second batch we made used Borax, glue, and shaving cream and it came out so fluffy and fun!  Both were huge hits.  The kids even took turns playing with the different slimes.   We used this recipe here.

I thought I might mention a little bit about Borax.  For some reason, people are afraid of it.  Unless you are eating it, the stuff is completely harmless.   I use it in my laundry soap since I make my own.   Don't be too afraid of this recipe.  It is so much fun!  But, in case you are wondering, if you substitute contact solution for the borax, water mixture, it should be fine.  Both of those ingredients are considered the "activator" and should still do the same chemical reaction as it changes it's state.   (there's some science for you!). 

Are you joining us on our Summer Pinterest Challenge?  Don't forget to post to instagram and use the hashtag #oftrbsummerpinchallenge. 

This is the third week of our series.  So far we've done:
Directed Drawing 
Pool Noodle Activities

Do you have any ideas for our next project?  Post in the comments! 
Easy Slime Recipe
From Elmers

1/2 TBS baking soda
1 TBS contact lens solution
4 oz bottle of glue (full).
food coloring
glitter (optional)

 Find a mixing bowl to make your slime in.   Pour all your glue into the bowl and add baking soda.  Stir.  Add food coloring.  Stir some more. Add some glitter if you want*.  Add contact lens solution and continue stirring until the slime forms and it becomes hard to stir with a spoon.  Take it out of the bowl and continue mixing it with your hands.  If it is still sticky, add a drop of solution and continue mixing it with your hands.  Then just play with it!  Store in a ziplock bag or a plastic container with a lid. 

* we used fine glitter and regular sized glitter of all different colors.  

Monday, July 03, 2017

Patriotic Garden Flag Tutorial

I finally took down the Easter decorations last week and put up our summer decor. . . just in time for the 4th of July! I've been having so much fun hanging out with my boys that I haven't found much motivation to do a whole lot else.   I found some really cool pinwheels at Target when they first started putting up the Red, White, and Blue stuff and the flag I had hanging just wasn't working with the pinwheels. . .so I decided I was going to make one.  I really didn't want to buy one because. . . they are kind or pricey and I knew I could make one for super cheap!  This one ended up costing me less than $2, because I bought the cheapest red, white, and blue fabric possible at Target and I had everything else. It also only took me a little over an hour to make. . . so it's not too late to get started (or pin now for next year)

For this project you will need:
1/2 yard of patriotic fabric
jean scraps
white fabric scraps
iron on applique

Step 1: 
Measure how wide you want your flag to be.  I just took out my cutting ruler and measured it really quick.  It was already out and I didn't want to get anything else out.
 Step 2: 
 Take your measurement and add 1 inch.  I cut out two 16 inch wide pieces and kept the length the of the half yard, making it only 1 cut.  There was just a little bit of scraps left. 

Step 3:
 Fold one of your rectangles in half, right sides facing each other inward.  Carefully make sure everything is lined up and then take your cutting ruler and cut at an angle from the fold.  I started my cut about 5 inches up the fold and all the way to the bottom corners.  This gives that upside down v look (^). 
Step 4:
Lay cut piece down on top of other rectangle, right sides facing inside.  Pin together.  I only cut one so that it would be exact after I sewed it all up.  Go ahead and sew all the way around, leaving a 2 to 3 inch hole for turning. Trim your edges and square your corners, especially the tips of the flag. Then flip right side out.  I used some chopsticks to makes sure all the corners were fully turned.

Step 5:
Go back to your flag pole and look at the width of the actual pole it hangs on.  Determine how much to fold over.  I folded over 3/4 inch to 1 inch. Pin it down in a few spots.   Then, sew straight across.  This is how your flag will hang on the pole. 
Step 6: 
Cut out a 2 inch star with your Cricut.  If you don't have one of these cutting machines, just find a start that you like (i don't recommend fine tipped stars, because you will have to sew them up).  Cut out a scrap of jeans (I found a pair of old Weston jeans that had holes in the knees).  Set the jeans aside for now.  Grab some iron on applique and your white fabric.  Iron the first side on the scrap of white fabric.  Then, trace 6 stars on the paper and cut out.  Iron those stars on the jeans and then top stitch each star to the jeans.  Once that is done, sew the jeans to the flag and top stitch all the way around the flag. 

Step 7:
Hang up and enjoy!  (and ignore the fact that my flowers are not enjoying the high temps of summer).  Maybe even snap a picture and post it to Instagram and use the hashtag: #outoftherightbrainblog so I can see what you've created! 

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe 4th of July! 


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