Author Archive

And Then It Was Done

Posted January 25, 2015 By dealinanddishin

Friday was the end of our Cub Scouting life. We have been in since 1st grade as Tiger Scouts and Friday was our Blue and Gold banquet to celebrate the Webelos II completing scouting and for those crossing over to Boy Scouts. We chose to not cross over. The boy isn’t real big into camping, and that’s a very big part of advancing in our Boy Scout troops.

Any kind of leadership in extracurricular  groups is more work that you initially think.  I had been a Den leader for Cubs the last five years, and was having some serious burn out.  The last two weeks in particular were crazy. We had planned a meal for 250 people. So that’s a lot of centerpieces, bottled water, cake, food, tableware, etc. It all turned out great other than a few hiccups you will always get when dealing with a large group.

I was counting down to be done…the last year and half was so busy. Webelos has 20 activities to get through (well..not sure if still true when the new handbooks come out). I had started Girl Scouts last year as well, so been stressed and ready to move on.

That all being said I’m still sad it’s all done. I have known some of these boys, parents, fellow leaders for 5 years. Now it will be seeing occasionally, on Facebook, or maybe at school. Going from twice a month meetings with the adults, once a month with my den, and then Pack activities. It is a big adjustment. Pack is very big on family outings and including the siblings and I will miss that.

For something that at times felt like a life sentence and was going to make me pull my hair out to *poof* it’s done.
bluegoldmekidsJacksonMeCropped

Be the first to comment

(This giveaway and upcoming review were provided in exchange for tickets to the event mentioned. All opinions expressed are original and mine.)

leaderboard_legokidsfest-STL-leaderboard
LEGO® KidsFest Missouri: March 20 – 22, 2015
(America’s Center, 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101)

I am so excited that my family gets to go to our first LEGO KidsFest. My son has been a huge LEGO®  fan since he was about 4 years old (he’s 11 now) and his 7 year old sister enjoys building alongside him. We have so many I converted a train table into a LEGO table to give a dedicated building area. This happens to fall on our Spring Break (well technically a day, but close enough!) and just being a couple hours away it’s perfect for a close get away.

Five identical sessions are available for the three-day tour stop. LEGO KidsFest tickets are $22.50 for adults and $19.50 for children and can be purchased online at http://www.legokidsfest.com.  

As a contributor for USFamilyGuide.com I was able to get tickets to the opening night of this event, but you know what’s even better??
I get to give away 2 tickets to opening night as well!!!

One of MY followers will win (2) tickets to for the opening night session on Friday, March 20,  2015   (4-8:30pm).  I encourage you to LIKE and Follow LEGOKidsFest on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for all the latest ticketing updates as this event has been selling out in prior cities.    Must be 18 to enter, 1 entry per day allowed, random drawing by USFG!

Winner will be randomly chosen by USFG on Friday, January 23 and announced on my Blog and notified via email.
tile_legokidsfest-STL-tileENTER HERE – http://www.usfamilyguide.com/LEGO_KidsFest/?blogid=822

What’s at the LEGO KidsFest?

Among the many LEGO attractions, families will find:
* LEGO Model Museum: walk among the dozens of life-sized models made from LEGO bricks
* LEGO Ninjago: spin the way to being a Spinjitzu member
* LEGO Mindstorms: play with programmed robots and snakes
* LEGO Movie: help Emmet and Lucy conquer the bad guys
* LEGO Fusion: work with real and virtual bricks in this
* Race Ramps: build a custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
* Creation Nation: construct a creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
* Construction Zone: enjoy a creative build, play, and display area
* LEGO DUPLO: explore imagination through building for the younger set
* LEGO Retail: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods
* Big Brick Pile: build and have fun in a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
* Monochromatic Builds: construct buildings and more using bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
* LEGO Disney Princess: create and build a fairytale through LEGO bricks
* LEGO Friends: build for the five empowered friends from Heartlake City

I love to get an idea of what’s at an event before I go so here are some pictures that were provided to me to share.
photo_3524 photo_3522 photo_3519photo_3523

Don’t worry…I will be sharing all kinds of pictures from this event here, on my Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram accounts as well.

The LEGO KidsFest 2015 tour stops include Arizona (Glendale): February 27–March 1; Missouri (St. Louis): March 20–22; Tennessee (Nashville): April 17–19; and Texas (Austin): September 4–6.

Don’t forget to enter to win 2 tickets to opening night at the LEGO® KidsFest Missouri: March 20 – 22, 2015

ENTER HERE – http://www.usfamilyguide.com/LEGO_KidsFest/?blogid=822

I will be announcing the winner the end of February!

Be the first to comment

New Year, Same Crazy

Posted January 10, 2015 By dealinanddishin

So it’s January 10, and most would write about resolutions on January 1st. I don’t “do” resolutions. It doesn’t really matter, because it’s the same each year: Organize something, paint, exercise, eat better, work on my blog (that one has been getting shoved to the side too much).  My “resolutions” happen usually when school is out (Summer and Winter).

Right now I’m really trying to get organized and stay on top of things. As I’ve written before I’m a Scout leader. In 2 weeks our boys are crossing over and leaving Cub Scouts, which means a big banquet (200+ guests). That on top of Girl Scouts, housework, organizing vacation, and normal life has me a little crazy (probably a lot crazy).

How am I managing to not go completely bat shit crazy on everyone? My top two things (other than the occasional apple ale):

1. Exercise helps me manage a lot of the stress, plus my weight is at a high I haven’t been in probably 5 years! Sucks, but it’s something I did and will have to slowly fix.

2. Lists, lists, lists. There is nothing more satisfying than marking on things I have done. Right now I use the “Reminders” app that comes on the iPhone. I make daily lists so not too overwhelming.  I hold myself more accountable when it’s written down.

What is helping you deal with all the craziness in your life?

Be the first to comment

24 Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Posted November 30, 2014 By dealinanddishin

24ElfontheShelfIdeas

Snowflake came to our house on December 1st last year, and started her activities the following day with one last one on Christmas. She used  toys around the house with some great results. Some days she gave the kids little gifts, or suggestions like making cookies. Our elf is about fun, and not so much spying for Santa. She brings some Christmas magic each morning. Here are 24 Elf on the Shelf ideas to try at your home. Normally we didn’t move her, but the rule was that Mom and Dad could if she was in the way. Gotta keep her safe!

1.  Snowflake playing with some of the kids’ snake puzzle toys we found at craft store.
Elf120213
2. Snowflake decided to take my son’s remote control truck and have her own monster truck race.Elf120313
3. Snowflake enjoyed a good game of Old Maid with some of the Skylanders figures.Elf120413
4. Snowflake felt adventurous and decided to try to scale the tree.Elf120513
5. Snowflake surprised the kids with snowflakes hung by strings in front of their doors when they woke up. She wasn’t very good about cleaning up after herself though.Elf120613Collage6. Snowflake had a princess party with Snow White, and enjoyed some dress-up.Elf120713
7. Snowflake had a lot of fun with my son’s Legos.

Elf120813
8. Snowflake tried out the Skylanders game plus brought the kids a couple new figures to play with.Elf120913Collage
9. Being an elf is a hard job. Snowflake needed a night of relaxation.Elf121013
10.  Snowflake made a blanket fort and raided some candy for a fun night with some new friends.Elf121113
11.  Nothing like a tea party with a giant flamingo.Elf121213
12. I don’t know what Rudolph did, but apparently something that annoyed Snowflake.Elf121313

13.   Snowflake thought the kids should make some cookies. She even helped by getting a bunch of supplies out. I was sure thankful she put down some plastic wrap before writing with decorating gel.Elf121413
14.  Now I see why she wanted us to make cookies!Elf121513
15.  Snowflake brought a couple holiday books for the kids, but had to check them out first.Elf121613
16.  Snowflake heard my son playing his recorder for school so much she wanted to learn some songs herself.Elf121713

17.  Very nice of Snowflake to let us know how many days left until Christmas. It was very minty smelling all day since she used toothpaste!Elf121813
18.  Somebody got into  my candy, and decided to use them like building blocks. Apparently she ate a couple too.Elf121913
19.   Snowflake won a round of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots with  Darth Vader.Elf122013

20.  Snowflake had some trouble trying to get a bag of marshmallows from the pantry.Elf122113

21.  A fun game of Zombie Apocalypse.Elf122213
22.  Snowflake spent a quiet evening with the Little People Nativity Set.Elf122313
23.  Snowflake knew the kids were heading to Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas. She thought they would like a couple videos to watch in the car and fun cups.Elf122413

24. Snowflake left one last message before she left us.
Elf122513

Be the first to comment

Return of our Elf on the Shelf Announcement Idea

Posted November 28, 2014 By dealinanddishin

We start our Elf on the Shelf on December 1st. That’s when we start our Lego Advent calendars as well. That’s much easier for me to remember.

This is our second year of welcoming, Snowflake, to our home.
Snowflake

I thought Snowflake would like to send a note announcing her upcoming visit. What fun is it to write it normal?

Let’s make this a game and use a code! We could try to make our own code, draw shapes, or whatever, but I like faster and easier.

Thank you, Word for Webdings! Just set your font to Webdings and type your message. I add an extra space between each letter to make it easier. Also the font size I select is 48 with the paper on landscape setting. The Webdings are different for upper and lowercase so I set on Caps Lock to make it easier. I also will put the punctuation in with a normal font like Times New Roman. I don’t want to have to print out a cypher for just punctuation. Hint on switching fonts..save it in the code way first then add the other font!

Here is a sample of what I have. This says, ” I will be coming back in” Then the rest what on a second sheet.ElfLetter
Make a second sheet just typing the alphabet in Webdings. Double space and add the letters in normal font under each symbol.cypher

Now to leave this out in the morning for the kids to find and crack the code!

(affiliate links in this post, but original ideas)

Be the first to comment

Free Christmas Game DIY

Posted November 25, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I am all about making games and crafts for as little money as possible. Making for free out of things I have at home is the best! Ok, true, I did buy the items at one point, but I did not have to go out and specifically buy anything for this Christmas game.

I was at CVS and saw this Rooftop Drop Game for $9.95. (Here is the Hallmark link)image

Boy, that looks really familiar to the Chimney Chuck game I made three years ago for our Cub Scout Christmas party.
(See the instructions here)
image
It was simply made out of empty boxes, some wrapping paper, craft paint, and duct tape. The game is easy to play for any age, and can be made more difficult by changing distance or using small packages.

Be the first to comment

Jingle Bell Bracelet Craft

Posted November 23, 2014 By dealinanddishin

Our Girl Scout troop was going to participate in the local Christmas parade. We had mostly finished our Between Earth and Sky journey so figured a fun craft for them to make for the parade would be good. Since it is for Christmas bells are what came to mind.

I wanted something they could shake and jingle while walking in the parade. I had seen those rings with bells attached that go on your door knob, and that was my inspiration.

First stop was the Dollar Tree and then to Joann Fabrics for some very thin ribbon.

What I bought:

Green Bells (50 count packs) – I bought all 3 Dollar Tree had since we have 12 girls in our Troop I need a lot of jingle.

Bangle Bracelets (14 count pack)- Dollar Tree toy section

White 1/8″ ribbon (5 yards) – JoAnn Fabrics

Red 1/8″ ribbon (5 yards) – Jo Ann Fabrics

I spent $4.00 plus tax at Dollar Tree and $2.58 plus tax at Joann’s. I will also use duct tape from my own stash.

The bracelets were wrapped in duct tape so they all look uniform (and no arguing over pink and purple). It was easier to rip the tape in half lengthwise to wrap the bracelets.DuctTapeCollage

Then bells will be threaded onto the ribbon in groups of five. Simple thread five bells on a ribbon, and tie in a bunch. Then tie to the bracelet. Do the same for the second bunch of five bells.JingleBellBraceletCraft

To make things fastest precut and sort all the supplies into baggies (then reuse for the next craft)

There you go festive Jingle Bell Shakers for under $10!!

Be the first to comment

PVC Craft Show Display For Hanging Items

Posted October 25, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I made this PVC Craft Show Display for my elastic headbands. This could work for necklaces, scarves, etc.PVCCraftShowDisplay

I went back to Ace Hardware, where I got the supplies for the Hair Scrunchy Display.PVCHairScrunchyCraftShowDisplay

I used the same spray paint as before. I bought a 10 foot piece of 1/2 inch PVC. I still have leftover of that. You could adapt this to be taller with more hanging places. I didn’t keep the receipt on this one, but I spent about $15 that day. I bought a few pieces I didn’t end up needing so I would guess around $10 should do it.
PVCHeadbandCollage

Items Used:

6- 4 inch long 1/2″ PVC pieces
5- 8 inch long 1/2″ PVC pieces
1- 16 inch long 1/2″ PVC piece
4- elbows 1/2″
4- T 1/2″ pieces
4- caps 1/2″

Spray Paint (Get kind that says for plastic on it)

I used my handy PVC cutter again, and started piecing and planning this display. Once again I did not use any adhesive. I may need to make it taller one day, or store it in a small space.

You attach a 4 inch piece to both ends of the T. Put an elbow on each of those, and add a 4 inch piece to the elbows. Then add another elbow to each of those. Then finally attach a 4 inch to both ends of a T and put it into the last elbows. This makes your base secure and it won’t wobble.

Now you need to put the 16 inch piece in the back T piece. Put a T upside down on it, and add two 8 inch pieces. Then cap those.

The front T put in an 8 inch piece. Also put a T upside down on it, and add two 8 inch pieces. Then cap those.  Spray paint, let dry, and ready to go!

Here is a video of how it all goes together.

I really loved this one, and the versatility of it is great as well. I can see making one like this for my daughter’s room for necklace storage. It worked great for the headbands.
HeadbandSamplesonRack

(contains affiliate links)

Be the first to comment

Hair Scrunchy PVC Craft Show Display

Posted October 19, 2014 By dealinanddishin

PVCHairScrunchyCraftShowDisplay
I am in my second year of doing craft shows. I work with my friend from Simply Smith Crafty Creations. She works with yarn and I mainly work with fabric (and some crayons) so it works out really well!  All of my items are for sale as well..I’m working on setting up an Etsy store.Show

We were getting ready for our first show of the season. I started making head bands (elastic and tie). Then I added hair scrunchies. I forgot how cute those were. I wore them all the time, and they are perfect my little girl. She is all about pig tails so great way to dress them up or be festive.

I wanted a way to display them that would be neat, but show all of the styles at once. I also needed a display for the headbands (will have a How to on that soon).

My new favorite craft supply is PVC pipe. Last year I bought a bunch of 1/2 inch pipe, capes, T’s, and elbows for my Cub Scouts. They made them into pom pom shooting guns..big hit!

I went to my local Ace and browsed around. Grabbed some pieces that looked like would work. Later I bought this Valspar spray paint at Lowe’s.  “Micromist” means you better cover a LARGE area!! I have a pink garage floor now.PinkSprayPaintI also used my handy dandy PVC pipe cutters. I love love these…so much better than using a saw!!! When you use a saw there are rough edges you have to sand..no fun. We use PVC a lot in Cub Scouts to make neckerchief slides..sanding sucks!

A little thinking and some cuts later I had my Hair Scrunchy display made. A few coats of spray paint and it was show ready. Check out the short video at the bottom to see how easy it is!
I spent just over $6 (after tax) on the PVC for this. The spray paint I can’t remember, but want to say between $4-5 but that was used on both PVC displays.

What you need:

1- 1/2″ PVC Cross
4- 1/2″ PVC Elbows
4- 1/2″ PVC 13″ Pieces
4- 1/2″ PVC 3″ Pieces
4- 1/2″ PVC End Caps
Spray Paint (type that says it’s suitable for plastic)
PVCHairScrunchyCollage None of the pieces are glued or cemented. I want to be able to take apart and store.

Attach the 4 3″ pieces to the Cross. Attach an Elbow to each of those (pointing up). Attach the 13″ pieces to the Elbows and top with caps.

That’s it..easy and looks great! It is a little tall and I didn’t have enough scrunchies to fill it, so feel free to adjust the heights.

SprayPaintScrunchyRack
You know what was even better? I bought two foam heads at Sally Beauty Supply ($4.19 each) and they have a hold in the bottom. That fits on top of the Hair Scrunchy holder. Great for displaying some headbands.

HeadTop

(affiliate links are in this post)

Be the first to comment

Cup Noise Maker Craft

Posted September 17, 2014 By dealinanddishin

Like I have said before (probably a lot) this is the last few months of Cub Scouts. We have a lot done for Arrow of Light and Super Webelos other than what they need to do at home, and some bits and pieces.

October is my favorite month! Why?? Halloween!! I can get my fill of horror movies, haunted history shows, decorate, and of course the kids love the holiday as well. It’s a close race on Halloween or Christmas as their favorites.

Anyway decided that this next meeting would be a fun one. We will do a little work (on Scholar), but mainly going to have a Halloween theme with snacks and crafts.

I’m dealing with 10-11 year old boys, and that’s not an easy group to craft with. They don’t want to do all the cute Halloween crafts I see on Pinterest. I’ll save those for my Girl Scouts. They like gross: farts, guts, etc.

First up we are making a cup noisemaker. I saw it on Steve Spangler Science. They called it a Screaming Cup, and there is science behind it (but I was looking for just fun). Okay I checked..vibrations is what you learn about.CupNoiseMakerCraft

“Screaming”  may be an exaggeration. You judge for yourself from the video clip we made.  I call it a Laughing Cup, Farting Cup, or Chicken Cup. It sounds like any of those really so take your pick.

It is so easy and cheap!! Cheap is very important when you could have a bunch of kids.

I used 16 ounce plastic cups from Dollar General $1 for a 14 pack

Then some cotton string. I had this on hand, and it has a twisted look which is great for more resistance to make the sounds. You want something thinner than yarn, but thicker than thread. I used about 3 foot. It could be shorter. I would suggest 24 inches.

Water

For me I can make this for 6 people (gotta test it!) for about 50 cents total!! Woo hoo!

1. Poke a hole in the bottom of the cup. I used an ink pen, which then ripped the tip off of it.  Take note.

2. Thread through the string. Leave the longest part hanging out the bottom.

3. Knot (a few times) the tail of string inside cup.

4. Wet the string.

5. Run fingers down the string.

I have a smaller size cups I am going to try as well. My theory is the sound higher pitch. You hear the sound come out of the cup (like the tin can or cup string telephones we made as kids). Also try moving your fingers down the string with a lighter grip, or faster, start and stop, etc. You can get all kinds of different sounds.

I can just imagine the noise I will have with this, but I think the boys will love it!

 

Be the first to comment