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Tag: easy

Easy Vegetarian Burritos

Easy Vegetarian Burritos

We have been trying to eat both healthier and cheaper in our house and besides beans one of the ways I have been trying to do that is to add more squash into our diet.  I love squash.  I am really excited about our zucchini […]

Strawberry Picking 2017 Part 2: Jam Making

Strawberry Picking 2017 Part 2: Jam Making

A few days ago I posted about our strawberry picking and how we froze and dried the berries.  We have been snacking on the dried berries all week and they are delicious!  On top of drying and freezing our berries we also made two batches […]

Science Fun with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Science Fun with Baking Soda and Vinegar

My daughter loves to play with baking soda and vinegar. She always helps me deodorize the garbage disposal by pouring the vinegar down the drain and making bubbles.  Today my son got to watch and he was fascinated.

 

 

We were talking about how much she loved helping me and I remembered that last year she was obsessed with this activity I found on Pinterest (but unfortunately didn’t pin for some reason) where you put a bunch of baking soda in a dish and let the kids squirt different colors of vinegar on it to make a rainbow effect.  My son was interested so I though I would let them out on the deck to play with some baking soda and vinegar for a bit. I opted not to use dye since I had no idea if my son would actually play with it or if he would decide just to dump everything out and I didn’t want to deal with dye in clothing today.

 

 

This activity is super simple.  I just grabbed a couple of Tupperware containers, poured some baking soda in and leveled it, poured some vinegar into another Tupperware container and we were ready to go.  I got my plastic eye droppers off of Amazon last year. They are super easy to clean and I ended up giving some to a friend since the 12 pack was more than we needed. Since they are plastic there was no worrying about the kids dropping them and breaking them. I just rinse them out in the sink and we are good to go.

 

 

The reaction goes pretty quick since the eye droppers don’t hold a lot of vinegar. My daughter loved to make patterns in the baking soda and systematically covered her available space.  She is very focused when she works and it is always fascinating for me to watch her thought process.

 

 

My kids love bubbles so they had quite a bit of fun with it even without the dye.  I am probably going to let them use a lighter color like yellow next time since my son was pretty good about it. It makes the bubbles much clearer and if you give them primary colors it can help teach them the color wheel.

 

 

My son always tries to figure everything out and if there are other possible ways of doing them. Part of his process today was grabbing a handful of baking soda and dumping it into the vinegar container.  He was really pleased with the extra bubbles it produced! Most of his time was spent trying to scoop the baking soda with the eye dropper since he wasn’t quite able to squirt it with the vinegar.

 

 

We had some pretty patterns in the baking soda when we were done and the kids got to dump the rest of the vinegar into their baking soda containers which my daughter really loved to do! This baking soda and vinegar activity is one of the easiest and cheapest science experiments I have found to do with my kids.  I buy baking soda and vinegar in bulk at Costco (maybe $10 total for both) and there is enough for hours and hours of bubble making fun. If you were really creative you could even fill a bottle with baking soda and a balloon with vinegar, mix them together and see how the balloon fills with gas.  I may have to try that next time!

 

 

 

Hummus from Scratch

Hummus from Scratch

We have always been big fans of hummus. For a long time we bought organic canned garbanzo beans and made hummus from those but we have been trying to make as much of our food from scratch as we can so about a year ago […]

First Fire Pit S’mores!

First Fire Pit S’mores!

My husband has wanted a fire pit ever since I can remember and once we moved into our house we knew we would get one.  Last year we never got around to it but a few days ago we decided to take the plunge.  We […]

Stitching Update May 19, 2017

Stitching Update May 19, 2017

Stitching update time! My goal was to update once a month but we were so busy in the garden that I barely got any time to stitch until a couple of weeks ago. I had to pause all work on my birthdate alphabet sampler to work on a present for my mom for Mother’s Day.  I didn’t finish it in time but I should have it complete in the next week or so.  I found this cat butt pattern in the Freudian Stitch shop on Etsy. My mom is not a fan of cats and I have been giving her cat things just to make her laugh.  She loves my stitching so when I saw this pattern I knew I had to stitch it.  I showed it to her on Mother’s Day (unfinished) and I should hopefully finish it soon.

 

Cat butt progress May 17, 2017.

I am really enjoying stitching the cat butt pattern.  It flows really well and I love how easy it is to count the stitches in between the cats.  I have had to substitute a couple of colors since I could not find them in my gigantic boxes of thread and I didn’t have time to go to the store until after Mother’s Day.

 

I went through my stitching boxes yesterday to see what I could find in there and I am ashamed to admit I have several WIPs that I had forgotten about and several patterns with thread in various stages of being kitted up.  I am a huge fan of the Heaven and Earth Designs website and have purchased quite a few (ie more than 10) of their patterns.  To date I have finished exactly one of them.  It still isn’t framed properly but it took me three years to stitch off and on and I am super proud that I actually finished such a big project.  It was the Cairns Bird Wing pattern by Teri Rosario and I loved stitching it.

 

“Computer Wizard” by Randal Spangler progress May17, 2017

I have this huge project I started about three years ago called “Computer Wizard” by Randal Spangler.  It is a gigantic project with about 90 full pages of stitches to do.  I have completed about half of a page of it which seems crazy with all of the time I spent on it.  I have not worked on it in a few years though but I hope to put it back in the rotation soon.

 

 

Here is a picture to show the scale of “Computer Wizard” My cat butt project is on a standard hoop and will fit into a 4×6 picture frame when it is complete.

 

Wrinkly full picture off of the frame. 3/30/17

I worked a little on my alphabet birth date project but most of my limited time was spent on the cat butt project.  I am really please with how the alphabet project is coming along.  I just wish I had more time to stitch it but as soon as the cats are done I will switch back to this one since it needs to be finished ASAP and it doesn’t require using a magnifying light. My eyes get tired really fast using the light so I can’t stitch as long as I want to.

 

Close up of alphabet project. May 17, 2017.

 

Progress! I extended the blue border and got some of the yellow squares complete.  Hopefully I can finish this block and another by the end of June.

 

 

Half kitted thread set for “Sundae Delight” by Randal Spangler. I have quite a few of his pieces.  I love his work!

 

 

This is a piece I bought of of Etsy a number of years ago.  It is a Halloween Dachshund sampler I got from Plum Street Samplers that I started when I first started stitching and forgot about.   I spent more time than I should have carefully placing these stitches but I looked at it again and I am not sure if I cut my fabric large enough so I will have to measure it out again to double check.

 

 

This is another Randal Spangler piece.  It is a quick stitch, which in Heaven and Earth Designs means it doesn’t always use the full picture and the colors are not as detailed but it still has quite a bit of confetti and details.  It is called “Literate Dragon“.  I am having a really hard time with this one.  I picked the quick stitch so that I could finish it in about a year.  There are only four full pages and a few not even half pages so the pace wasn’t super fast but it is proving very difficult to stitch.  I am having a hard time finding my rhythm and every time I pick it up I just get frustrated and barely make any progress.  I am going to try again in a couple of months depending on my progress with the alphabet piece.

 

I have a few other pieces I have sort of kitted up, patterns that have been printed but no thread purchased and possibly a couple of starts still stashed away but I was a little overwhelmed by how much I need to work on when I went through everything so the rest of it will stay on the back burner for a while. I also need to desperately organize my extra thread, fabric and random stitching accessories and hopefully now that we have a dedicated sewing space I will finally be able to organize it instead of having my stitching stuff stashed all over the house. My goal is to have the sewing room organized this fall once everyone is in school and I have more time (ha ha!).  Now off to work on my cat butt project!

 

Happy stitching!

 

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

My oldest daughter and I love these sweet potato fries.  I make them every couple of weeks and they are usually gone by the end of the night.  The younger two kids either really love sweet potatoes or they can’t stand them so I usually […]

Easy Dairy-Free Baked Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Easy Dairy-Free Baked Peanut Butter Granola Bars

We recently had to switch to a dairy-free lifestyle in an effort to see if our younger kids have a sensitivity that is causing them some serious sinus problems.  I was having a hard time finding granola bars for our kids that were dairy free, […]

Easy Rainbow Flowers Science Activity

Easy Rainbow Flowers Science Activity

A few weeks ago we had our three year old help us pick out flowers to give to our friends when we ate dinner at their house.  Being three, she was instantly lured to the artificially colored daisies in rainbow hues.  She absolutely loved them and my husband being his ever informative self told her that they did not come that way naturally.  Of course this new information sparked her ever present curiosity and we found ourselves promising her that we would make them ourselves some day soon.  The day finally came last week and our daughter had a ton of fun making them.

 

 

We bought our flowers during our weekly Costco trip and used some of our larger mason jars for the food coloring.  We just happened to be very low on yellow so we made red, orange, green, blue, purple and one with half the flower in red and the other half in blue (to teach the color wheel).  I bought our food coloring at our local grocery store some time ago but you can also find it here although the price on Amazon seems absurdly high.  I am pretty sure I paid under $2.00 for mine so check your local grocery store.  There is no need for high quality food coloring here, but it would be another experiment to see if some of the gel food coloring would bring out more vibrant colors.

 

 

We filled our jars part way with water and cut off a few inches from the bottom of the flower stems.  You should make sure they are a good height for your jars so they don’t tip over.  We divided up three for each single color and one for the split color.

 

 

Added food coloring.  My husband just squirted a bunch in there.

 

 

Here are what the colors looked like in the jars. The one second from the left is orange even though it looks pink. You can test your colors by dipping a paper towel in it to see what it will look like.

 

 

To make our dual color flower we carefully sliced the stem of one flower with a knife.

 

 

Next we pulled it apart a little. Not too much though or you will break off a piece.  We then cut and pulled it until it would be steady in our glasses. We ran out of mason jars so we just used regular drinking glasses.

 

 

Place the split stems with one in each glass. Make sure they won’t pull each other over.

 

 

Once our flowers were in place we let them marinate.

 

 

Here is what they looked like after about two hours. You can just barely see some of the tint on some of them. A couple of the red flowers looked pinkish.

 

 

Another view of the blue.  There was just a little on the tips of the petals.

 

 

Here is what our flowers look like after a few days.  Our flowers were well watered prior to bringing them home so it might be another experiment to leave some out of water for a period of time and see if they soak up the dyed water more quickly.

 

If I had been on the ball this would have been a great way to introduce a scientific notebook to our daughter.  Now some of you may be saying she is too young for that but it is important to introduce these concepts early. STEM is the focus of many schools’ curriculum and just exposing your kids to the terminology from a young age will give them a leg up when they start school.  At the age of three I would write the steps to the scientific method with very simple explanations for each one and have her draw a picture of the experiment.  I would also have her “write” some notes on it which she may or may not fully understand but again, it is important to expose them early. Even if your kids do not understand the concepts now, they will be setting the foundation for when they learn them in the future.  This is very important.  Too many times I hear parents telling me “well my child was asking about such and such but they are too young for that”.  Take advantage of your child’s natural curiosity! If they are constantly being told they can’t do things eventually they will internalize it and it will be much harder when they are older to get them to try new things.

 

Some science questions to ask you kid while you are doing this experiment:

What do yo think will happen to the flowers when they are in the water?

How does the water travel up the flower’s stems?

How long do you think it will take for the dye to transfer to the petals?

What will the red/blue split flower look like when it is done?

What colors will form when you combine red and blue? Blue and yellow? Any other color combination?

Why does the color move to the flowers?

Do all flowers change color when you put them in dye?

What colors are in the rainbow?

 

Some books to read about flowers and colors:

 

 

We had a lot of fun making our rainbow daisies! I am excited for our future science experiments!

 

 

Hilarious Japanese Toilet Candy

Hilarious Japanese Toilet Candy

For Christmas I bought this  Takoyaki candy from Japan for my teenager. Takoyaki is one of her favorite foods and she found it online and wanted to try it.  It was ok and I wish I had gotten pictures of it but she had fun […]