Saturday, December 22, 2012

Beep! Beep! and Merry Christmas!

From the Family That Plays Together!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Manly Father's Day

"Oh boy! another handmade card/tie/stepping stone!!!" will not be the words uttered out of MY Man's mouth this year.  If you don't want to file yet another craft away for Dad, I suggest you read the following:

The Family That Plays Together 
Brings You :
 The Ultimate Guide to 
A Manly Father's Day

This is not my husband.  This is Alex, he won the Art of Manliness Contest

Totally Manly Suggestion #1: 
A Play Date

Get together with your girlfriend wives and get rid of send the boys off:

Arrange for them to go camping 
Sometimes a man needs to go into the woods and build a fire, and sit around it, and stare.  He needs plenty of wood to add to the fire so that it lasts the entire trip, so make sure to send him with a large and unreasonable ax/saw/chainsaw, whatever his fancy.  He needs another man around him so they can sit there and not speak to each other.  He needs to get the not-speaking out of his system.

Arrange for him to go hunting or fishing
Sometimes a man just needs to kill something.   Killing that spider last month, unless it was a tarantula, just didn't cut it.  And unless you were fortunate enough to have a large poisonous snake or a wild hog come into your yard, his protection instincts have not been honed properly.

Ball Games
Sometimes a man needs to sit on the sidelines and yell at other men, and tell those other men how much they suck at life.

Some times a man needs to hit something other than the trashcan on the curb, with the car.

Because there is are only a limited amount of times you can watch your husband get completely annihilated at a Jimmy Buffett concert with his friends.  Make sure to get him a taxi and a hotel.  You don't want to smell him after that mess.

If he doesn't have any friends living near by and you are SUPER cool to be around, go with himUse great discretion in that decision.  Most Mom's super cool radars are pretty far off since they birthed children.  Not yours of course, but most others.

Maybe you can't arrange for any of the above. Maybe you just tell him "Hey, I'm going take the kids to grandma's/shopping/cross country.  I went ahead and called in a timed delivery meat pizza, hot wings, and a bucket of chicken, all dark meat.  Cold beer is already on ice. Oh, and I don't mind if you build a hobo fire in the back yard.  And make sure to play music, that only you like, really loud so that the neighbors will think we are rednecks".

Totally Manly Suggestion #2: 
Manly Gifts

Oh, these are gooood.  If you are going to spend the money, why not spend it on  a gift that will last for months?

Beer of the Month Club
Bacon of the Month Club
Steak of the Month
Exotic Meats of the Month
Beef Jerky of the Month

And NEVER underestimate the power of a gift that comes in a crate!   Crow bar included.

Totally Manly Suggestion #3:
Manual Labor 

Wash and Detail his Vehicle (or arrange for someone else to)
Yard Work
Massage him
Organize his tools (be careful, he may have a system in place)

 This is a cool idea on how to keep tools organized
(Pink will not be tolerated though)

Totally Manly Suggestion #4:
Educate Him On the Ways of Manly

Good Reads:

All of the above books can be found at

Totally Manly Suggestion #5:
The Ultimate Experience 
AKA: Man Camp

Performance driving, Grand Prix road racing, formula car racing, cart drifting, and anti kidnapping courses.  These classes really do exist at:

Send him to BBQ Camp hosted by Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbeque Bible, Primal Grill, and Barbeque University.

After completing the 3-28 day course at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, he'll be ready for anything.

Surfing and Kiteboarding.  Gnarly.

ATV, Jeep, Hummer, Snowmobile, Water Rafting, Zip Line and Mountain bike Tours!

I hope you can handle all of the Manliness that just took place.  
Here are some cupcakes to look at.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pajama Run

There is this article I read over at Motherhood Your Way a while ago that I have been keeping stored in the back of my mind.  It's called:  5 Secrets to Being a Super Fun Mom.  I re-read it often when I find myself in a spontaneity rut.
My favorite is #2 on the list:

2. Be Spontaneous (written by Kat from Inspired to Action )

One of our favorite things to do with the kids is something we call a Pajama Run.
We put the kids to bed just like every other night and then after about 5-10 minutes, we run in yelling “Pajama Run! Get in the car! Hurry! Go! Go!”
Then we take them to get ice cream at a drive in restaurant like Sonic.
Getting ice cream is normal. Getting ice cream in your pj’s after bedtime? Awesome.

(Note: If you do this with your kids, you might want save the yelling and screaming until the second time you do it. Don’t want to freak them out. Also, we have a rule that if they ask for a PJ Run, we automatically can’t do one. This is key as it spares you from daily begging.)

Sonic is now offering the After Moon Delight deal all summer.  After 8 pm you get 1/2 off all ice cream shakes.

Perfect!  Bedtime for little man is 8 pm.  aaandd he happens to enjoy milkshakes. aaandd this would be a good excuse for me to get in on that action.  I believe the stars have aligned.

I don't know how we will pull off the pajama thing seeing as my boy likes to sleep free-willy-nilly. 

Maybe we'll just shout out "Diego Pull-Ups Run! Get in the car!"


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Things That Go CHOMP!

I picked up this set of scrapbooking scissors years ago.  At least I think these are for scrapbooking, all I've ever seen are teeth -how these would make some great creature teeth. 

I let the toddler practice a little hand-eye coordination on white paper while 
I cut out some creatures on colored paper. 
We then glued the teeth onto the animals.
What goes CHOMP!?  

This is what we came up with:

 Cranky Crocodiles

Snappy Sharks

Toothy Tyrannosaurs

and Mouthy Monsters


According to Camden Flamingos go CHOMP too.  That's Silly.

We glued the little 6x6 creature squares onto 18x24 poster board and here you go: 
 CHOMP! Wall Art

Remember to brush your teeth,


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rainy Morning

 Don't you wish you could play with your Lite-Brite, in your play hut, 
with your best bear bud, in the nude on a rainy day, today?


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chalk Paint

 It is Glor-eee-ous outside today!  Unfortunately little man is feeling pretty yuck today.  I wanted to uplift him with some fresh air. Keeping him cooped up in a dark house adds bored & cranky to the sick & overtired duo of destruction.  I thought it was time for us to jump on the chalk paint band wagon and let him plop down and create. Worked like a charm.

 This was too easy.  Most likely you have all of the makings on hand.  
I used 2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch and 4 Tablespoons of Water for each of the colors we wanted.  You can use food coloring drops or gel, just mix it until it looks good.  This was enough paint to last one kid (and one adult) for 1 1/2 hours. 

 Cranky + Chalk = Cute

The gifting possibilities are endless! Can you imagine adding these to this year's Easter basket?  Or maybe use them for an affordable Birthday present - just jar them up, tie a few sponge brushes on with a cute bow and BAM a cute gift for under 5 bucks!  I knew those old baby food jars would come in handy.  No need to nominate me for the next episode of Hoarders, Thank-You-Very-Much!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

5 Ways to 'Slim Down' and Save This Year

How are the New Years Resolutions going?  
What resolutions? 
Yeah me too.  
I have been pretty good lately about saving money though.  Soooo... may I just back up a few weeks and say that my New Years Resolution is to find 5 ways to save money and share them with you? 
I can? 

#1 Get on a Meal Plan

There are tons of resources online to help plan your weekly and monthly menus (like E-Mealz or OnceAMonthMom) .  We have been using since this past summer.  I can't even begin to tell you how much more effective of a Mother I am when  I follow this  plan.   Not only does it save us money on Groceries (about $300 per month!) but it saves our time (which = priceless).  One of my strategies with OAMM  is to find a meal plan and print out their grocery list a month ahead of time. I then use a couponing site like  SouthernSavers  or TheGroceryGame.  When my list items go on sale, I pounce.

If you aren't cooking once a month, you are losing time!
Here is what I figured I save every month on time:
5 hours a month on UN-focused grocery shopping.
2 hours a month on last minute dinner grocery shopping.
4 hours a month menu planning, recipe searching, grocery list making.
1 -2 hours every day considering, preparing and cooking breakfast lunch and dinner
= at least 41 hours per month!

Annual Savings $3,600 and 492 hours.

 #2 Make Your Own Laundry Detergent


I have started making my own laundry detergent by using these instructions on Yellow Brick Home.   I figure it costs me about $12 for 6 months of this stuff.  I add one heaping tablespoon to my washing and my clothes come out smelling simple and clean.  The Hubbs loves the smells that arise when I mix this stuff, and always asks if I can sprinkle it around the house.  If I'm feeling squirrely, and I have a coupon, I add Purex Crystals to the mix.  You can request coupons (every 4 months) for Felz Naptha, Borax, and Purex by calling the Henkel/Dial home office at 1-888-468-6673.

I'm exited to try this Peppermint Laundry Soap  from SouleMama too.

#3 DIY Home Repair was I talking about?

We are well aware that we can learn how to DIY almost anything by opening up our trusty old laptop.  Make sure to use this wealth of knowledge for the good of our homes (or maybe just to be able to tell your husband, "Hey -I've got it covered here on the home front, why don't you get back to the office and come home when I need a back rub or to make a baby!")

Be sure to check out  Family Handy Man.  I have yet to come up with a project that I couldn't look up on this site.  If you need some pro-woman and hilarious motivation go see Karen over at The Art of Doing Stuff she will knock your socks off.

If you have a question, go to Just Answer, they saved my tail on a washing machine repair last year.  Earlier I got a quote from my local Sears for $120 to come out and look at my machine, and that didn't include labor ($80 per hour), or the part.  I went on to Just Answer and they linked me up with an online expert.  He diagnosed my problem right away, answered my bajillion skeptical questions,  gave me a link to the cheapest place for the part I needed, found a local place that could get it in for me, and walked me through installing it.  It cost me $25 for the inquiry, and I only had to pay if I was completely satisfied with my answer, which of course I was!  In the end I saved $175 dollars!

#4 Ditch Cable or Satellite

This was an easy one for me.  I have had a bad run with poor service and insane rates from the only providers in my area.  Monopoly anyone?  We have gone to a combo of Hulu Plus (7.99 per month) and  Netflix (7.99 per month).  We use Xbox Live for streaming, others use their Wii or PS3 . If you don't already have one of these systems, used ones are popping up on Craigslist for cheap.  

Also, if I get bored with these offerings, there is no obligation.  I can check out some of the other streaming, rental and device options like:
Apple TV   

#5 Make the Final Switch to CFLs

a little tidbit from 

ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs pay for themselves in about 6 months. Then they start paying you back.

Start small

Change one bulb — save $40 or more over the lifetime of the bulb.
Change 5 bulbs — save $200 or more over the lifetime of the bulbs..
For the best payback use ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs in the fixtures you leave on the longest.

Think big

The average household has approximately 30 light fixtures.
How many light bulbs can you change to ENERGY STAR qualified models in your home?

Many of you have switched already, we have just moved so we have tons of old light bulbs to replace.  I found out that  Duke will send you a box of CFLs for free if you have an account with them.


I hope one of these money saving tips will help your family stash a little cash for the New Year.   I'd love to hear about some of the ways your family saves too.

Save more, play more,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

To My Grown Up Son

I have been holding on to this sweet poem I found over at Magical Childhood for a while.  Lately, I haven't been able to peel Camden off of me.  He seems to need more from me than usual.  I'm often feeling guilty after his bedtime when I start to miss him.  Today, in the middle of rehabilitating our poor house from the holidays, I uncovered these words.  It's amazing what comes across your path at just the right time.            

                To My Grown Up Son 

                      My hands were busy through the day
                          I didn’t have much time to play
                          The little games you asked me to.
                          I didn’t have much time for you.

                          I’d wash your clothes, I’d sew and cook,
                          But when you’d bring your picture book
                          And ask me, please, to share your fun,
                          I’d say, ‘A little later, son.’

                          I’d tuck you in all safe at night,
                          And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
                          Then tiptoe softly to the door.
                          I wish I’d stayed a minute more.

                          For life is short, and years rush past,
                          A little boy grows up so fast.
                          No longer is he at your side.
                          His precious secrets to confide.

                          The picture books are put away,
                          There are no children’s games to play,
                          No good night kiss, no prayers to hear.
                          That all belongs to yesteryear.

                          My hands once busy, now lie still
                          The days are long and hard to fill.
                          I wish I might go back and do
                          The little things you asked me to.
                                                   - by Alice E. Chase

Friday, January 6, 2012

Valentine's Recap

I'm trying not to get ahead of myself this year for Valentine's Day.  Man does Pinterest make that nearly impossible!  Something about decorating and crafting for Valentines... it's sweet and more approachable than the major holiday craziness we just went through.  I'm going to hold off for a few more days, but here is a recap of a few of the crafts The Family did last year:

Click on the project you'd like to see:

Maybe I'll check Pinterest out for some Groundhog's Day stuff instead. for now.


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