Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Do You Zoku?

July 3rd, 2012

A different kind of post today – I have to rave about my new favorite product: our Zoku Quickpop maker. We all love popsicles, but regular homemade pops lack the instant gratification everyone wants.  You mix them up, throw them in the freezer, and then you have to wait 2-4 hours before you can eat […]

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A different kind of post today – I have to rave about my new favorite product: our Zoku Quickpop maker.

We all love popsicles, but regular homemade pops lack the instant gratification everyone wants.  You mix them up, throw them in the freezer, and then you have to wait 2-4 hours before you can eat one.  Where’s the fun in that?  But the zoku makes the hours of waiting a thing of the past.  Keep the zoku in your freezer, pour in juice, and in less than 10 minutes, your pop is ready to eat!

As if that wasn’t cool enough, the possibilities with the zoku are basically endless.  We’ve done juice pops, layered pops, fruit salad pops, ice cream pops, pudding pops, smoothie pops, cookie pops, even a fish bowl pop!  And for the grown ups, you can add alcohol and make margarita pops, mohito pops, you name it!

Here’s some of our pops – milk and cookie pop, layered pop, and a fruit salad pop

  

We love our zoku.  It’s easy, it’s fun, and we use it almost every day.

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Peeps!

March 28th, 2012

It’s spring, Easter is almost here, and that means one thing… Peeps! Personally, I can’t stand the things.  I’ve never liked them.  My kids do not share my opinion though. Whether or not you think peeps are good eating, they can be used for a lot of fun science!  Here’s a few fun peep science […]

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It’s spring, Easter is almost here, and that means one thing…

Peeps!

Personally, I can’t stand the things.  I’ve never liked them.  My kids do not share my opinion though.

Whether or not you think peeps are good eating, they can be used for a lot of fun science!  Here’s a few fun peep science experiments for you.

  • Nuke a peep!  Throw a peep in the microwave – 30 – 60 seconds will do.  Make sure you watch while they’re heating, because that’s where all the fun is!
  • Mix some peeps!  Pour some water (or any other clear liquid you like) into a bowl, add 2 different colored peeps, and watch what happens.  This is a great lesson in color mixing, so keep on repeating with different peep color combinations.
  • Fry some peeps!  If it’s a sunny day, go outside with a peep and a magnifying glass.  Remember burning ants with a magnifying glass as a kid?  This is the more humane version.

Once you’re done with those, be sure to check out these fun peep links:

Then check out the creativity from past Washington Post Peeps Shows!

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Feed the Birds

March 14th, 2012

Recently, I posted about birdwatching.  And then I went and bought that coconut.  So here I was with 2 halves of a coconut shell, and I was wondering what to do with them.  I certainly wasn’t going to make a coconut bikini!  The coconut got me thinking though, and I decided to turn it into […]

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Recently, I posted about birdwatching.  And then I went and bought that coconut.  So here I was with 2 halves of a coconut shell, and I was wondering what to do with them.  I certainly wasn’t going to make a coconut bikini!  The coconut got me thinking though, and I decided to turn it into a birdfeeder!  A little string, a little creativity, and voila!  A coconut bird feeder!

I’m certain it’s not squirrel proof, but it’s also a lot easier to fill than my squirrel proof feeder.

Now I want to see your homemade feeders! Send me a picture, and I’ll post it in a future blog post!

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Coconut

March 7th, 2012

I was at the grocery store recently, doing my weekly shopping, and they had fresh coconuts on sale.  I’m going to do you a favor right now and tell you that if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, DO NOT buy a coconut.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the benefit of having a warning […]

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I was at the grocery store recently, doing my weekly shopping, and they had fresh coconuts on sale.  I’m going to do you a favor right now and tell you that if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, DO NOT buy a coconut.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the benefit of having a warning and thought it would be fun to show my kids what the inside of a coconut looked like.

Coconuts are extremely hard to get into.  And honestly, the milk and the meat isn’t all that.  Especially not considering all the work you have to do to get the meat in a form where you can use it.  (Though I now know how to use the grater function on my food processor!)  There’s a reason you can buy coconut preshredded in bags.

Anyway, I had a coconut.  I got the meat out of it and I shredded it.  Which left me with another predicament – what the heck am I going to do with all this coconut?  My kids had already sampled it and shown that they were not all that fond of fresh coconut.  This is where the internet comes in handy.  I found a recipe!

Oatmeal Chocolate Coconut Chewy Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture until well blended. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips. walnuts and coconut until evenly distributed. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven for a chewy cookie or 14 minutes for a firmer cookie.
  4. Cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet and then remove to wire rack. Cool completely and then store in tightly sealed container.

There’s only one problem with these cookies.  They’re fantastic!  I can’t stop eating them.  Noah declared them the best cookies he’s ever had, and we’ve all managed to sneak a few more than we should.  They’re chewy, they’ve got great texture thanks to all that fresh coconut, and the oatmeal and chocolate just give them the perfect flavor.  It may be the perfect cookie.  I just hope they’re gone soon, or I’ll have to keep eating them!

 

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Turtles

January 24th, 2012

Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph some of our slower tropical friends at the Robinson Nature Center.  Turtles!  First, everything I’ve heard about turtles being slow was wrong.  These guys were fast.  Sure, not cheetah fast, but that old “tortoise and the hare” fable is dead wrong.  As are all the cartoons I watched […]

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Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph some of our slower tropical friends at the Robinson Nature Center.  Turtles!  First, everything I’ve heard about turtles being slow was wrong.  These guys were fast.  Sure, not cheetah fast, but that old “tortoise and the hare” fable is dead wrong.  As are all the cartoons I watched as a kid.  Those little guys can really move!

Turtles, as it turns out, do not like to sit still and have their portrait taken.  Add that to a room crowded with a bunch of kids, all equally eager to see the turtles, and less than ideal lighting, and it made for some challenging photography.  But it was pretty cool! Here’s a few images of our hard-shelled friends from that day.

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Bubbles!

January 4th, 2012

Who doesn’t love bubbles? (Actually, I don’t.  They’re slimy and they make a horrible mess.  But I like watching them, if I don’t have to do the blowing, or reach in to that vat of bubble juice to find the slimy wand.) I recently read about freezing bubbles, which will hopefully make another blog post […]

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Who doesn’t love bubbles?

(Actually, I don’t.  They’re slimy and they make a horrible mess.  But I like watching them, if I don’t have to do the blowing, or reach in to that vat of bubble juice to find the slimy wand.)

I recently read about freezing bubbles, which will hopefully make another blog post soon, so I thought I’d give it a try today, since it’s so darn cold.  Though apparently it’s not cold enough.  But nonetheless, the bubbles, if not frozen, were beautiful.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to take pictures of a bubble?  The focus is tricky, and just when you’ve got everything ready, the darn things go and pop.  It’d also be a lot easier with 3 hands – yet another occasion when it would be handy to be part octopus.  Regardless, it’s so fun to get right up close to a bubble with a macro lens so you can really see what’s going on.

And here’s an unplanned self portrait on a bubble:

And now I’m going to go find a hot beverage, in hopes of ever feeling warm again.  Thank goodness it’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow!

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More Fun

December 17th, 2011

He’s still a busy elf!  Red Guy decided to do a little fishing.  He even caught one! The next few days, he was very busy.  He did a jigsaw puzzle (Noah was very excited to point out that it was a 100 piece puzzle!).  After that, he was really tired and needed a nap.  He […]

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He’s still a busy elf!  Red Guy decided to do a little fishing.  He even caught one!

The next few days, he was very busy.  He did a jigsaw puzzle (Noah was very excited to point out that it was a 100 piece puzzle!).  After that, he was really tired and needed a nap.  He left a new ornament on the tree for the boys, and then decided to just hang out from the rope on the pull-down attic stairs.  It’s a good location for watching little boys and reporting to Santa!

This morning, the boys woke up to breakfast from the Elf.  He’s much better at breakfast than he is at lunch.

Daniel saw it and he said, “Thanks, Red Guy!”

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Red Guy

December 11th, 2011

Red guy continues to be a very busy elf.  He got a hold of a dry erase marker and added a few embellishments to the kids’ baby pictures.  Both boys thought this was absolutely hysterical.  Noah fell on the floor, he was laughing so hard. After that, we made sure the dry erase markers were […]

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Red guy continues to be a very busy elf.  He got a hold of a dry erase marker and added a few embellishments to the kids’ baby pictures.  Both boys thought this was absolutely hysterical.  Noah fell on the floor, he was laughing so hard.

After that, we made sure the dry erase markers were well hidden (fortunately, dry erase comes right off of glass with no problems).  The next night, Red Guy packed Noah’s lunch!  He packed instant oatmeal, pudding mix, mustard, 3 kinds of sprinkles, paprika, and ketchup.  Noah decided he’d buy lunch that day.  Then Red Guy pretended to be a bat.  After that, he got into the Halloween candy!  He ate 2 packs of m&ms, a kit kat, 2 crunch bars, a 3 musketeers and a twix.  And his face got really messy!  The next night, Red Guy relabeled all the presents so they were all for him!  And then, he shrunk the donuts we had bought for breakfast!

He’s keeping us all on our toes!  Can’t wait to see where he ends up next!

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More Elvish Fun

December 5th, 2011

Red Guy has been very busy.  He rode a dragon, colored a picture, and suggested Noah buy lunch at school.  Friday night, he left the kids a package of sprinkles and a note telling them how his favorite food was sprinkles, and they should eat like an elf and have sprinkles with every meal.  The […]

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Red Guy has been very busy.  He rode a dragon, colored a picture, and suggested Noah buy lunch at school.  Friday night, he left the kids a package of sprinkles and a note telling them how his favorite food was sprinkles, and they should eat like an elf and have sprinkles with every meal.  The kids thought this was a fantastic idea.  The next night, Red Guy got a little naughty and stole all the kids’ underwear while they were sleeping.  Last night, he tried to take a ride down Noah’s marble course.  Hey Red Guy, you’re bigger than a marble!

Can’t wait to see what the little elf gets into next.  What’s your Elf on the Shelf doing these days?

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Elf on the Shelf

November 29th, 2011

Our Elf on the Shelf is named Red Guy.  What can I say, my kids aren’t so creative in the naming department (someday, I’ll have to introduce you to “Owly” the owl, “Cowy” the cow, and “Blue Guy” the blue hamster).  Anyway, our Red Guy has only been visiting for 3 days so far, and […]

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Our Elf on the Shelf is named Red Guy.  What can I say, my kids aren’t so creative in the naming department (someday, I’ll have to introduce you to “Owly” the owl, “Cowy” the cow, and “Blue Guy” the blue hamster).  Anyway, our Red Guy has only been visiting for 3 days so far, and he’s having a great time!  Day 1, he read some books while the kids were sleeping.  Noah thought he’d add a little reminder as to appropriate Elf on the Shelf behavior:

Day 2, he hid among the knick knacks on top of the hall tree.  He thought this might stump the boys for a while, but no, they found him right away:

Day 3, time for a little gaming.  I didn’t realize elves liked to play Connect 4 with Iron Man.

(Forgive the terrible pictures.  Red Guy prefers having his picture taken at night, by iphone.  It doesn’t make for the best photographs.  But we can’t risk upsetting the elf!)

Can’t wait to see where he ends up next!  Stay tuned…

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