Friday, August 31, 2012

Arizona Picnic in July


I wrote this last month and I'm just now getting around to posting it.



Being house bound with a 2 year old for ten hours can seem a bit daunting; for you and the child. Summers here in the AZ deserts are to be endured for the most part. Yesterday, at my sons home and with only the one child to care for I decided to go on an adventure and have a picnic at the nearby park for lunch. It was forecasted to only be in the low 100's so I felt that was as much as anyone could hope for until fall. We packed a bag and quilt, strapped and buckled into the car for a ride to the drive through of the neighborhood golden arches. I was too lazy to pack a lunch and there would be a surprise in the little box that also contained a somewhat nourishing meal.



At the park I made a couple of drive bys looking for a tree with some shade to park under. I'll do anything for that shady parking spot even if it means walking a lot farther. Parked and unloaded I realized we would need to walk a long ways in the opposite direction of the play area to get to the gate opening and then walk back in the sun. I chose to set our bags over the fence, lift the two year old over it and then do my best to squeeze climb through the low two rail fence. After I dislodged myself we soon realized the park was rather soggy from the recent rains but we found a spot thick with grass to spread out our quilt. Just as I had our lunch unpacked I noticed a large work truck had unloaded lawn care equipment and the crew began firing up the various mowers, blowers and other obnoxious noisy fume emitting things. We needed to move as we would be in their path sooner rather than later.




At our new spot, a better one after all I decided as it was on the tiniest high spot and mostly dry, we began to eat our prepared meal. Once finished and the surprise toy had been thoroughly played with we walked over to the play area leaving our blanket and belongings behind. There was no one around to bother anything; we seemed to be the only ones at the park this day.




We found the play area to be ankle deep in mud in places and some inconsiderate kids had smeared mud by the handfuls all over the slides and other playground equipment making them impossible to use. We made our way to the swings carefully squishing through the mud on the driest spots we could find. There would be no swinging either; the swings, made of black materials were too hot to touch. My grandchild began to look as if she could cry. Now I knew why we were the only people at the park. I made light of it all as much as I could and said we could read our books back on the quilt.




Back at the quilt we found that our lunch crumbs had been found by ants! Oh my, I considered leaving the whole mess and just going home. But I shook each item as best I could and packed up again we head for the car, squeezing back through the fence.

Back at my sons house, I left everything in the car except what was necessary. I figured any live ants still in our things would die in the heat of a locked up car. The family dog we had left in the yard had decided to dig a hole in the rain softened mud and would need cleaned up before she could come back in. I brushed and scrubbed and finally brought us all into the cool sanctuary of the house. I made cold iced water for all and we began to cool off and our sweat soaked clothing began to dry. I was enjoying the air conditioning and the ceiling fan. My little one settled into playing with her toys and I wondered why I ever thought leaving the house would be a good idea. This nice cool spot with a large glass of ice water was about as good as it could get about then. So much for picnics in July in the Arizona desert! Next time we'll picnic on the kitchen floor :)



If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wow Us Wednesday #12


Hello! We have had lots of new linkers recently. I hope you all are taking time to check out a few fellow linkers while you are here.

I loved this idea for a dresser redo. What would you put on one? Simply Vintageous shows you how.

Oh my, look how delicious this looks? You’ll find the recipe over at Love Bakes Good Cakes.

Tie dye shirts are still cool! It’s easy if you do it like The DIY Dreamer does it.

One Creative Housewife has a really great and easy idea for making fire starter wafers. I’m going to try this.
 
How about finding a unique way to create more food storage? Look at this from With A Blast.

If you have been featured feel free to grab an 'I've Been Featured!' button.


Wow Us Wednesday is a link up for:
  • All items, projects or ideas made by you.... crafts, art, photography, furniture re-dos, organizational feats, recipes, money saving tips, decorating ideas, party plans, you name it! This link will be open until Friday midnight if you forget on Wednesday.
  • Grandparents if you have a post about a fun grandchild activity or visit, you are eligible too. Don’t forget to link back! — a text link at the bottom of your post, or link somewhere on your blog is okay! Or grab my button below.
  • I am starting an email reminder list (one day I will )  for this link party. Please make sure you enter your email when linking to be included. If you entered it last time you don't need to again. Thanks!

  • I love followers! Please consider following me in someway. Also please visit some other linkers and comment there too, ok?
  • Link up to three post and please do not relink ones from the previous week. Link to the specific post, not your blog home page. No Etsy shops or giveaways, please!

    I would love to feature projects I choose and share them throughout the following week - by submitting a link to this party you are allowing authorization for your project to be featured with a photo from your post. Featured links will include a photo and a link back to the originating site.
Thank you so much for linking up with me. I'm sorry that time has not allowed me to stop by and comment on each link. Please know I appreciate you all!




If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Seed Packet Template

Update: I have remade the seed packets here. They are nicer than the others I made previously. If you don't see the outline of the packet in the PDF, it still prints out like it should.  (at least it does when I test it)

With fall just around the corner ( yes it's wishful thinking!)  it will soon be time to start saving seeds from you garden. So I thought I would be real smart and make a seed template for you to print out. I’ve not made printables before and I searched high and low for a tutorial to learn how it's done. It took some work let me tell you.  (to figure it out, for me at least) Here is the link to the one tutorial that finally helped me in case you need one. 
I made this one (below) the old school way, drawing, tracing and cutting then scanning it into the computer. I scanned it as a photo then took it to Pixlr to add the text. It doesn't look as slick as the other seed packet templates out there. 

Then, I made three more printable seed packet templates for you using PicMonkey

They can be printed on regular printer paper or onto card stock for a sturdier packet. Pretty scrap book paper could also be used. For some reason, the outline doesn't always show up in the PDF, but it is there so print it even though you don't see it. 



 Click here for the Harvest Round Up Seed Packet.

Click here for the large seed packet.  Click here for two small seed packets on one sheet like the one above.
It would be a fun project for the kids to decorate your seed packet template before you cut it out. Let them color it with crayons, markers, or stamps if you like. I vote for small garden themed stamps J
Cut out your template and fold where you see the dotted lines in the picture at the top. (Your print out will not have the dotted lines) For a nice clean fold, use a ruler or other straight edge to fold the template over on. Glue back flaps and bottom flap down. Top can be taped or glued.




If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Grandparent's Say It Saturday

Thanks for coming by, it's good to have you. the weather here has given us a break on temps and we have had some much needed rain too. Always welcomed in this dry desert. I sort of hibernate in the summer here, kinda of like some of you do in the winter. So I always look forward to fall when I can get outside more. Maybe I'll even plant a few winter vegetables when the time is right. Are you thinking about fall yet?

Be sure to add yourself to the Grandparent Blogger Directory if you haven't yet. Remember, if you are of grand parenting age and blog, you are eligible here even if it is not about grand parenting; please just keep it family friendly :)


Add your link here every Saturday at Grandparent's Say It Saturday.
  • Please only link to a post, not to your home page.
  • Please link that post back to Family Home and Life
  • Link up to 3 post
  • While you are here check out other linkers and leave some comments
  • Consider following fellow linkers as well as me
  • No Esty Shops or give aways
  • This link is closing on Monday night.
  • I have a new Grandparent Blogger Directory, I hope you will add your blog there
Be sure to visit Lisa at Grandma's Briefs to join her linky, GRAND Social, on Mondays. Thanks for linking up with me!


If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 24, 2012

How to Lose Weight in 3 Easy Steps


This post is about six months overdue but I still thought it relevant. About a year and a half ago my doctor pointed out to me yet again, that if I didn’t lose some weight I would have to start taking blood pressure meds. I decided I’d rather lose the extra weight.
Now I’ve tried to lose that extra weight many many times and it was just too hard to do. I’d lose a few pounds and they would come back again. I think that really I was just lying to myself about how much I ate and how much exercise I did or didn’t do. In other words, I always made excuses for my failure. I have a thyroid problem, I’m on HRT’s too, and that makes for a combo that seems to cause the weight to pile on and not want to come of.  
This time I prepared by thinking about what tripped me up and made a plan.  Then I stuck with my plan and just about a year to the date, a birthday gift to myself, I lost 30 pounds! I was so proud of myself! I want to tell you how I did it and there is a trick or two that really helps.
Problem  #1. I am not good at being hungry; I like to eat most anytime of the day.  I needed to be able to eat when I wanted to so I needed the right things available to eat when I was hungry.
Solution #1; eat when I feel like it.
Problem #2.  The eating plan needed to be foods easy to prepare that I could keep stocked up on. Something I could grab and go when I needed lunch or a snack to take with me.
Solution #2; shop ahead for the right foods and keep them on hand.
Problem #3. I needed a way to bring movement and exercise into my whole day not just a portion of it.
I decided I would be the most successful by eating vegetables and cutting out high calorie snacks. Vegetables are usually low calorie foods without all the added stuff we put on them.  Not only are vegetables full of nutrients they also have a lot of fiber so I felt full after eating. Frozen veggies are easy to prepare and easy to store. I began to eat lots of vegetables, snacks were veggies, and each meal I ate a half portion of whatever I cooked for the man of the house but filled up on a cup or so of veggies first. I would season the veggies different ways so I had lots of variety.
Solution #3; The diet was working out great and after about a week I began to stop craving all the junk and ice cream I had eaten before. (After I began to add movement and exercise to the diet I was able to go off the diet completely.) The adding more movement and exercise into everyday was also a snap for me.
You see I have this wonderful team that comes to my house several times a week. No, I don’t even have to leave home for my workout. They make sure I am up and moving at all times! I rarely get a break with these two. And the really great part is that I hardly notice (until they go home that is) that I have been exercising my butt off , as they are so much fun.

Ladies and gentleman, meet my workout team!

Get yourself a pair of workout partners like this and you will be up off that couch in no time flat running around the house just like me trying to keep up. I PROMISE!
Can’t get two? One will work but it may take longer.


I say go for a team, two or even three and get that body moving!


The pounds will melt off and before long you can toss that diet right out the window.



You will be running around so much you will be able to eat anything you want and still not gain it back.



Well, that was easy wasn't it? Now I've had some fun here but I really did lose 30 pounds just like I said, and I did it by eat my veggies and yes, working out with my team.


If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wow Us Wednesday

Welcome everyone! Thanks for coming by. I look forward to seeing what is linked up this week. I seemed have been drawn towards projects that would work for kids this last week. For those whose kids haven't started back to school yet and need something to do.


This is a fun and easy project to make, and kids would love it from Wesens Art.

Posed Perfection shows you how how to make a super easy print, also kid friendly, but use tape over glass edges to keep them safe.


Remember shrinky dinks? Well it’s still around and still fun! See this tutorial at Crafty Journal. How about making something for grandma, like a charm bracelet?  


Here’s a fun craft for kids or adults with Halloween just around the corner…just saying! Have a look at Art Club Blog's post.

 I have started post my weekly favs on Facebook through out the week, stop by to see if I featured you! If you have been featured feel free to grab an 'I've Been Featured!' button.


Wow Us Wednesday is a link up for:
  • All items, projects or ideas made by you.... crafts, art, photography, furniture re-dos, organizational feats, recipes, money saving tips, decorating ideas, party plans, you name it!
  • Grandparents if you have a post about a fun grandchild activity or visit, you are eligible too. If it wows us, it belongs here on Wow Us Wednesday! Don’t forget to link back! — a text link at the bottom of your post, or link somewhere on your blog is okay! Or grab my button below.
  • This link will be open until Friday noon if you forget on Wednesday.
  • I am starting an email reminder list (one day I will )  for this link party. Please make sure you enter your email when linking to be included. If you entered it last time you don't need to again. Thanks!

  • I love followers! Please consider following me in someway. Also please visit some other linkers and comment there too, ok?
  • Please link up to three post and please do not relink ones from the previous week. Link to the specific post, not your blog home page. No Etsy shops or giveaways, please!

    I would love to feature projects I choose and share them throughout the following week - by submitting a link to this party you are allowing authorization for your project to be featured with a photo from your post. Featured links will include a photo and a link back to the originating site.
Thank you so much for linking up with me. I'm sorry that time has not allowed me to stop by and comment on each link. Please know I appreciate you all!





If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Using My Crockpot

Here is one of my all-time favorite ways to save time and energy in the kitchen: using crock pot liners or roasting bags in my crock pot.


I tell you what, I do not like to wash dishes, especial large pots or pans or crock pots that require a lot of scrubbing. Ick! And ouch! It hurts my fingers and hands to scrub. So, I use liners for my crock pot and there is nothing to scrub. Did you know that using a crock pot will save energy too? Yes it’s one of the most economical ways to cook. And who doesn’t like coming home to the aroma of a delicious meal at the end of the day.

I have seen several blogs that are now posting about making your own freezer crock pot meals. Making my own freezer crock pot meal is something I would have to do because I can’t really eat anything that has been processed at all. Something I have wanted to try for a while is preparing several crock pot meals and freezing them in a crock pot liner that is then placed in a Ziploc bag, so all I would have to do it take it from the freezer and Ziploc and place it in the crock pot. I don’t know why I haven’t tried that yet. It seems like it would be a good idea. I suppose you would have to make sure the meal would fit into the crock pot in its frozen state so I would need to be careful about the size and shape it froze in to.

At clean up time, all I would need to do is remove the liner and I would be done! Woo hoo! I have used oven roasting bags in my crock pot too. I closed it up with the raw food inside just as if I was putting it in the oven but put it in my crock pot instead.  
Once, I cooked a pork roast in the crock pot using a roasting bag, closed it up according to the directions, and used a meat thermometer positioned so I could read it through the closed bag and crock pot lid.  I have found that Wal-Mart is about the cheapest place to buy them at less than half of what my favorite grocery charges. With a coupon you would only be spending pennies per use. You will save more money because you won’t be getting take out with a meal waiting for you at home.

Wow that sounded like a commercial and it was not; I did not receive any sort of compensation for writing this.  I only hope it helps you out in the kitchen as much as it has me. Have you ever used a crock pot liner to freeze a meal in then placed it still frozen in the crock pot? How did it turn out?
***Quiz.....did you notice that I used the words...'crock pot' a lot? I surely did! Can you count how many times? The answer will follow in the comments here on Friday. Just having some fun!

If you are reading this any other place than Family Home and Life then this post was used without permission. Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mason Jar Monday, Buttons for Lisa


Kids love to play with buttons, they are pretty and fun to sort. I remember playing with my mother's button collection and my grandkids enjoy playing with my button collection. It’s a fun tradition that has been passed down without even a second thought.

I have a friend, Lisa, over at Grandma’s Briefs and she recently wrote a post about buttons. It seems that most grandmas have a button jar, box, tin, or whatever to hold some sort of a button collection. I am no exception here, I too have a jar of buttons collected over time and it contains some handed down from my mother.  


So after I read Lisa’s post I decided to play with my button collection myself, looking for that magical fascination buttons seem to hold for little eyes.  I poured my buttons out and pushed them together in a pile. I sorted through some colors and ones I thought extra pretty.



I made an L shape, for Lisa of course, then pushed them up close against the jar.


I noticed they were in a heart shape sort of so I manipulated them into a more formed heart shape.


I was thinking about Lisa as I did this and thought about her love of her family and those cute grandsons of hers.  I thought about how she loves on her friends and on her blog readers. If you know anything about Lisa you know she LOVES with a capital L! Yes Lisa is a wonderful person to have in your life. Hmmm another L word;  Lisa…Love…Life.  Lisa lives life lovingly.


So here’s to you Lisa, my friend, my blogging buddy and confidante. This one, a Jar of Buttons, is for you.  Happy Monday!

*Read more about Mason Jar Monday and the Pantry here.

I linked at French Country Cottage, My Turn for Us, The Shabby Nest, Bowdabra Blog, Cheerios and Lattes, Under the Table and Dreaming and Living Life Intentionally.

If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Grandparent's Say It Saturday

Welcome to Grandparent's Say It Saturday. It's good to have you here, I hope you will stop by each link and visit. Not much new around here except the weather has been cooler than normal, now that's good news! Me, I'm about the same. Thanks for coming by today.

Be sure to add yourself to the Grandparent Blogger Directory if you haven't yet. Remember, if you are of grand parenting age and blog, you are eligible here even if it is not about grand parenting; please just keep it family friendly :)


Add your link here every Saturday at Grandparent's Say It Saturday.
  • Please only link to a post, not to your home page.
  • Please link that post back to Family Home and Life
  • Link up to 3 post
  • While you are here check out other linkers and leave some comments
  • Consider following fellow linkers as well as me
  • No Esty Shops or give aways
  • This link is closing on Monday night.
  • I have a new Grandparent Blogger Directory, I hope you will add your blog there
Be sure to visit Lisa at Grandma's Briefs to join her linky, GRAND Social, on Mondays. Thanks for linking up with me!


If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 17, 2012

Spin Painting

We had some fun with paint the other day and I put to use a kitchen tool I haven’t used in years; my plastic salad spinner.



We needed to cut paper rounds to fit into the bottom of the spinner.  I found that the lid to this large bucket of play dough was the right size to trace for paper rounds to fit inside the spinner.  The lid was traced onto the paper with a pencil and cut out.



I used tempera paint and added water to it to thin it out a little; about 2 parts paint to one part water in plastic squirt bottles. 


The paint was dripped or squirted onto the paper and then the spinning began.  




Usually I needed to help hold it down while each child spun the handle. Oh, you will need a towel underneath it as the excess paint will come out through the bottom.




We experimented with dripping the paint on different parts of the paper rounds, middle and sides; and one color on top of another. We found that you can put too much paint on because too much caused the paper to crumple up on one side from the weight of the paint as it spins around.


Left over paint can be stored in the squirt bottles by removing the top, covering with a plastic baggie and then replacing the top.



It was a great activity and kept them busy for a long long time.


If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved