Friday, June 28, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Day 18

Shhhh.  Do you hear that?  It is quiet at my house.  Usually a quiet house means that the chanchos are into something they shouldn't be.  Even during "quiet time" I hear a lot of giggling, fighting and "are we done yet?".  But I have had about 2 hours of virtual silence.  I feel like I am on vacation and I have gotten SO MUCH DONE!

This is all brought to you by today's Pinterest Challenge.  The kids are really getting into it.  After yesterdays fun ice excavation they woke up this morning asking what today's challenge would be.  To be honest, I was going to do something crafty or make a special drink...but the begging children changed my mind.  So did the 15 minutes of crying and fighting after swim team practice.  So I took matters into my own hands and went to "The Chanchos" board.

And this is what I found.

Simple Ideas That Are Borderline Genius (41 Pictures). OMG I WISH PINTEREST WAS AROUND WHEN I WAS LITTLE.
Genius!  Why haven't we thought of this before?  It is perfect for hot summer days.  I used the duvet cover from my bed and put a big fan in the hole at the bottom of the cover.  Turn on the fan and Viola!, you have a fan fort.  And you have 2 hours all to yourself.

I didn't take any pictures for several reasons.

#1  DON'T UPSET THE BALANCE.  As soon as you poke your head in and disturb the is all over.  It is just like saying "Oh, they are sleeping so good (or taking such a long nap)".  Inevitably the kid wakes up 30 seconds later.  Or you say "they are playing so well together".  It is the kiss of death and fighting will quickly ensue.  Seasoned parents have learned......just don't say it!

#2 It is really dark in the room and it would be tough to really see anything.  The pictures above are about right and it really isn't hard to duplicate.

I have a feeling we will be using this "pin" all summer long.  I even let them eat lunch in there.  Best mom ever (or a mom who just needs a break, you be the judge).

You really should try this.  It is much easier and requires a lot less "stuff" than a regular fort.  It even stays inflated and you don't need anything to weigh it down or hold it up.

Mine even want to sleep in it tonight.  Heck, I want to sleep in it tonight!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Day 17

It is HOT, HOT, HOT today.  So, last night I planned ahead (imagine that!).

I have had my eye on this pin for quite some time.
Keep them busy for hours! A block of ice with treasure frozen inside and a hammer.  Great for those 100+ degree summers!

You take a bunch of little toys and freeze them and then the kids have fun "excavating" them.  So last night I was thinking that I should have bought some little toys at the dollar store to put inside the ice.  And then I wanted to beat myself.  I am constantly throwing away little dollar store toys.  I HATE THEM!  And I almost went out and bought more.  Yikes.

After my personal smack-down I totally redeemed myself!  What do my kids love more than anything else?  LEGOS!!!!  So I spent an hour (or more) with the kids and we separated out a bunch of legos (of course they didn't know what I was doing with them-they just thought we were cleaning out the bin-which we also did).  We found all sorts of "lost" legos and found about a million Lego guys.  They are so fun with all of their accessories!  After the kids went to bed I grabbed some legos and put them in bins.  I also had the brilliant idea that they would have to make a Lego creation after excavating all of the pieces from their icy tomb.

The kids got these bins a few years ago.  Of course I could only find 2 of the 3.

Added Random Legos but tried to find big pieces to help make "ships".
I let them freeze overnight in the freezer downstairs.  When I went to pull them out this afternoon (at 2:00 pm), they weren't quite frozen all of the way through.  Not sure why.  But, the kids still had a great time breaking them apart.  It was a nice way to cool off.  They LOVED it!

All 3 of them squatted almost the entire time.  How do they do that?

Cool action shot if you look closely!

After the excavation was complete, we had to lay the Legos out in the sun to dry before the creations were made.

These are the finished projects!  Nice work.  They had so much fun looking through all of the Legos and making them fit.  They are always so creative when the build things.

This was a great (and FREE) way to spend the afternoon on a HOT day.

You can find this pin on my "Summa Time" board.  Stay cool everyone!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Day 16

Today was a fun one.  We decided to try this one today.

A few years ago I decided I wanted to redo my upstairs bathroom (okay, both of my bathrooms are upstairs, so we will call it the guest bath- even though it is also the boys' bathroom).  I wanted it to be spa like and I thought it would be cool to get some pretty glass jars and put things like cotton balls and soap in them.  That is about as far as I got.  I never had the time or money to do the rest of the bathroom so the jars were stuck under the sink.

I decided to pull out the jar of soap and try this fun activity.
Pay no attention to the background of these pictures

 After reading the blog that went with this Pinterest post, I realized that I had the wrong soap.  She said that only IVORY soap worked.  Well, I didn't have ivory.  I had 10 bars of DIAL.  But, they were just wasting away under the sink, so I thought I would put it to good (?) use.

 It somewhat worked. After microwaving them for 1-2 minutes it did split open and the inside became foamy.  The middle was foamy and squishy and all of the kids remarked that it felt like bread.

 I bet if you use the real IVORY soap like she suggested it would be really cool.  I might have to invest in some ivory soap next time I am at Walmart and re-do this experiment.

The best part of this experiment was the 9 year old's comment.  He ran up to his room and got his pocket fan and said "This would be perfect to use when daddy lets out a stinky fart.  We can just fan the soap smell all over the house".  The smell is quite potent!  My eyes are still watering a bit.  In typical fashion, Makai rigged the fan to hang over the soap to cool it off and then to spread the smell.  He is so inventive!

This was fun.  I only wish that the kids could smoosh it around.  She mentioned that if her kids tried to play with it, it broke apart and made soap slivers all over her house.  Mine weren't too interested (the little ones  were too busy checking out the latest Legos on so it wasn't a big deal.  But I bet if it got as big and "cloudy" as hers did, they would be totally into it.

No biggie.  I now have a fresh smelling house and now have 7 bars of unused soap instead of 10.  No harm, no foul.  But seriously I do want to try this with real IVORY soap.  I will keep you updated.

You can find this on my "The Chanchos" board.  By the way....Chancho means "little pig" in Spanish.  It was what Chris calls the boys and it has kind of stuck.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting Caught Up: Challenge Days 12-15

Summer time has caught up with me.  I have been spending time doing swim meets, baseball practices, swim practices, crawdad catching, swimming, going to birthday get the idea.  All fun stuff, but the kind of stuff that makes an extremely dirty house and very tired kids.  It is the stuff that memories are made of.  So, I guess what I am saying is that I don't feel too bad getting a bit behind.

I think I left off last Thursday.  On Friday we tried out something I have been dying to do, especially during the summer.  How many of you hear..."I'm bored" so many times during the summer that you want to gouge your eyes out.  I am not saying I am like that (I am totally like that) but I am sure some of you can relate.

Day 12:  I saw these fun idea on Pinterest.

So, I set out to make our own Bored Jar.  I found a jar we had laying around the house and put some ribbon around it and printed a sign that said "Bored Jar" and stuck it on.  It all came from stuff I had around the house.  I also used the leftover Popsicle sticks from this project.  So this one was FREE!

Then we set out to figure out some boredom busters.  I had the kids help me with this so that they were invested in the project.  I thought I was going to have to go to my Pinterest page to get some ideas, but the kids were full of good ideas.

We came up with 40 different things.  We had 10 chores, 7 educational ideas, 8 outdoor activities and 14 other ideas.  Not bad.  The kids had so much fun coming up with ideas!  As soon as we were done, they started saying "I'm bored" just so they could reach in the jar and get out an activity.  We have been pretty busy so we haven't had to draw from the Bored Jar.  But I can't wait for the day....especially if they pull out a chore!  It was a fun activity and I think it will serve us well over the summer!

You can find this on my "Summa Time" board.

Day 13:   A new hairdo.  I get stuck in a rut when it comes to my hair.  My hair is pretty long, but I get tired of just pulling it back in a bun all of the time.  In the summer it is too hot to dry it and then if I do dry it is SO HOT on the back of my neck.  So, pony tails, braids and buns are my status quo during the summer.  So I was pretty excited when I found a new kind of bun to try.  Here is the picture from Pinterest.

Here is what it looked like on my hair.  Sorry for the terrible picture!!  But it is hard to take pictures of my own hair.

I want to try this again sometime soon.  I only looked at the picture one time so I didn't realize that I had to have the "end pieces" in the front and not the back.  I like how it turned out, but the ends stuck out funny.  If I would have had the end pieces on the top and then looped it to the back it would have looked much better.  However, I was trying to make my "usual bun" look more presentable to go out with the adults for my sister-in-law's birthday.  I didn't have much time to "wash the mom off" so this is how it looked.  I think it worked well, but I need to tweak it a bit next time.  I also think that the longer your hair is, the better.

You can find this pin on my "Just for Me" board.

Day 14:  Recipe Time!!!!
For the most part, I have loved the recipes I have found on Pinterest.  And yesterday....I found another one. I just might possibly be the best new recipe I have found in a while.  It is super healthy, vegetarian and DELICIOUS!!!

Have you heard of quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)?  It is a superfood!  It is a whole grain, but has a ton of protein in it too.  I have a couple of good recipes that use quinoa, but I am always on the look out for another good one.  If you have ever tried quinoa plain....I am sorry.  It is terrible.  You really have to add some stuff to it to make it worthwhile.

Here is what I found on Pinterest: (note- once you click on this within Pinterest, you have to scroll down a bit to get to this recipe).

I didn't totally have all of the ingredients for this recipe, so I had to improvise a bit.

Here is what I put in my dish.

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup of vegetable broth (boil it and then cook covered on low for 15 minutes or until almost all of the water is absorbed, then remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes).
1 can of cannellini beans (I didn't have garbanzo beans but I bet that would have been really good)
A large handful of cherry tomatoes halved
Fresh Cilantro
Fresh Basil (her recipe calls for spinach, but I didn't have any so I used Basil and it MADE the recipe)
2 avocados diced
Garlic (I always use lots of garlic and I use the fresh bottled minced garlic)

2 tsp. Dijon mustard (I used spicy that the same thing)
2 tsp. Olive Oil (I used grapeseed oil)
A dash of Cumin (she called for 1/2 tsp. but cumin is pretty strong)
The juice of one lemon (she calls for 2 but I only had one and it was really juicy)
The zest from one lemon
(whisk this together and put over the above ingredients)

It was so delicious.  It is my new favorite.  It is a perfect summertime recipe.  It is light and refreshing and pretty easy to make.  It would make a great side dish (however we ate it for our main dish and it was nice to have a vegetarian meal that was really filling).

Lisa Version

This is on my "Recipes" board and I would HIGHLY recommend it.  By the way quinoa can get pretty expensive but they sell it at Costco and it is SO much cheaper.  A big bag will last you a long time!  I only used a 1/2 cup for this recipe and it made 4 large main dish sized servings.

Day 15: Recipe....again.

I am a sucker for a good recipe.  I am always looking for good, easy recipes that my allergic family can eat!

This one looked delicious (and easy) so I decided to try it out today.


The best part about this recipe is that you make most of it in the crock pot.  I know you think of crock pot meals in the winter, but they are perfect for the summer when you don't want to heat up the kitchen.  I found my stew meat in the freezer and I just dumped it in the crockpot.

The only bad thing about this recipe is that there wasn't enough of it!  Next time I will double this recipe.  It was so tender and delicious!

I didn't take any pictures.  Oops.  Forgot and we had to eat in waves tonight due to overlapping baseball and swim practices.  Plus their picture is so much better and mouth watering that you don't need a mediocre picture (see previous post) from me.

This is definitely a keeper!

You can find it on my "Recipes" board.  And now I am caught up....until tomorrow!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sneak Peek: Shelby

I am SO sorry that it took me so long to get these pictures finished and posted.  I usually try to have the pictures that I take back to the client in a week to 10 days, but this one took me a little longer.

Shelby is going to be a senior and I met up with her on Monday evening and we spent 2 hours together taking pictures.  She is so easy going, down to earth and has a beautiful soul (and a beautiful face, but that will be obvious in the pictures below).  It was so much fun and I took a ton of pictures.  That is another reason it has taken me so long to get these done.  I took way over my usual (somewhere in the 500 range- ridiculous!).

Here are a few of my favorites (it was hard to choose!).

Congratulations Shelby!  Have a fun-filled senior year!