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Birthday Celebrations and a Space Shuttle Cake

16 Aug

We recently had a birthday in our house:

Silas turned 6!

Each year I let the kids decide what they want their birthday cake to look like. Yes, look like. As in, come up with whatever you want and I will try to make it.

Last year, just a few days after Silas’ 5th birthday{at which he requested a Feller Buncher cake}, he told me what cake he wanted for his 6th birthday cake: A Space Shuttle cake.

No worries, I thought, he will change his mind.

Low and behold, 12 months later, he still wanted a Space Shuttle birthday cake {and space shuttle toys, and an astronaut suit, and to go to Mars…}

It actually seemed very fitting, in honor of NASA’s 2011 retirement of the Space Shuttles, to make a space shuttle cake.

Since we couldn’t go see the real shuttle, we took pictures of our own.

We didn’t just eat cake for the birthday celebrations,  although we did manage to eat lots and lots of cake.

We also went to a local amusement park and rode the rides.



Here’s to another year filled with fun adventures and lots of love and laughter.


Drawing a Garden

11 Aug


Ever wonder what your garden looks like through the eyes of your child?  Do they see the weeds {that you inevitably notice} or do they notice the massive tomato hanging low to the ground. Here’s a chance to find out!

Keeping with our Outdoor Art theme from earlier this week, here is another easy idea to get your family outside creating.



I brought out our markers, paper/notebooks and a blanket and laid it near our vegetable garden.

I encouraged the kids to draw something they saw in the garden.

One very large green tomato has now been commemorated in Silas’ notebook.

As for Sydney, she decided to draw grass and clouds instead.



As for me, I also drew our tomato plant, but took some artistic liberties and colored all the tomatoes red {instead of the green that they are}!

Still looking for more ideas on combining nature + art? Check out this post

Painting outdoors

7 Aug

The simple act of painting can take on new life, can be new and exciting, all by bringing the paints outdoors.  Pull out the paintbrushes, the paints, paper and even an easel…then let the kids enjoy painting.

This simple change of location can inspire and invigorate your kids.  Honest.

{My kids had long ago gotten bored with painting, but were ecstatic with the idea of painting outside}.

The outdoors can inspire your children’s art, or just be a nice change of scenery.

Either way, its a fun {and easy} option.

{note the mud-laddened pants? Silas took a painting break to splash & dig in his construction site}


Farmer’s Market: Shelling Peas

19 Jul

{Silas took this picture}

I love going to the Farmer’s Market and browsing all the fresh veggies.  We have taken to riding our bikes and wandering the stands together as a family.

My kids really enjoy going to the farmer’s market, especially when I let them help pick out what we are going to buy {and buy them snacks..but that is another story}.

The other day we brought home a large bag of shelling peas.

I sat at the counter and started shelling them while my kids ate lunch.

They asked if they could help. Honestly, I was shocked.  It hadn’t crossed my mind that they might want to help shell peas. But they were fascinated that cute little peas were nestled inside each pod.

We sat at their small table together and shelled peas…for half an hour. THEY LOVED IT!


Consider taking your kids to your own local farmer’s market and let them pick out some veggies or fruits.

Not only is it a great way to support local farmers, but it gets your kids interested in wonderfully delicious food, and helps them learn more about where their food comes from.

Case in point: this week my son saw a dried-up corn on the cob at one of the venders, and learned that it was actually popcorn. He couldn’t believe that popcorn grew on a cob {and not in a plastic container on the grocery store shelf, hahaha!}


Summer Fun

13 Jul

Summer is short lived in the Northeast, and more-so this year than others.  After a long winter, spring was not the sunny flower filled time that many hoped it would be.  It was cold and wet. Summer happened upon us finally sometime in late June (or dare I say it waited until July?).  I love summertime and want to soak up all the minutes of sunshine and bare feet that I possibly can.

I don’t post as often in the summer because we are often busy splashing in the kiddie pool, picking berries at our local Pick-Your-Own Farm, and in our garden hunting for green beans.  Its not that I don’t want to, it is just that I am desperate to enjoy every drop of summer before it is gone.

If you are wondering where we are and what we are up to, check out our Facebook page to keep up to date!


Happy Summer.

Blueberry Shortcake {for the 4th of July}

29 Jun

Last year we made this Blueberry Shortcake recipe for the 4th of July. It was soo cute {and tasty} that I wanted to share it again.


In honor of the upcoming 4th of July festivities, we wanted to make something Red,White & Blue. What we came up with was Blueberry Shortcake with {red} Whip Cream. It was both yummy and festive.

My Kids Make “Blueberry Shortcake”, and yours can too! Check out how in this video:


The recipe we used for shortcake was adapted from this recipe on “Eggs On Sunday“. I left out the chocolate chunks {although I have made it with them before and it is GREAT}.

We made our shortcake into star shapes  by using a star shaped cookie cutter. Then, simply piled on tons of blueberries, loaded on red whip cream, and there you have it:



Strawberry Picking

23 Jun

I took the kids strawberry picking last week {and again this week, but who’s counting}.


Silas is a natural born berry-picker. He works hard, finds great berries, and doesn’t mind being hot.


Sydney, on the other hand isn’t a fan of the actual berry picking process, but she is loving the berry eating process.


I am lucky that my kids humor me and keep coming out to the berry fields with me.


Last week we made Strawberry Jam with some of the berries we picked. Let me just say, the jam is AMAZING. Bright red, flavorful and delicious.

If you are on the fence about making jam, then DO IT.  Its great.




Want to know what is great with strawberry jam? Homemade peanut butter, check out our post on making your own!

{Side commercial for making your own Peanut Butter: It is easier than you can imagine. It tastes 1 million times better than the stuff from the store, AND you can make it with simply 3 ingredients: peanuts, oil and salt.  End Commercial}.


Hope you are enjoying some summer berries as well.

I would love to see what you are making with your berries this summer!

LINK to your berry posts in the comments section or leave a note with your recipe!


Watermelon and Corn-on-the-Cob Cupcakes

21 Jun

Summer foods are a big hit in our house.

Watermelon = Yum



Corn on the Cob = Yum


After seeing this picture taunting me from the cover of Women’s Day Magazine {as well as in the “Hello, Cupcake!” cookbook, and on Martha Stewart}, I decided it would be a fun project to try with the kids.

After showing them the picture, and hearing lots of cheering, we ran to the store to buy the color appropriate jelly beans.

Inspired by the idea of Corn-on-the-Cob cupcakes, I thought it would be fun to ALSO try making a WATERMELON cupcake.

My Kids Make “Watermelon and Corn-on-the-Cob Cupcakes” and yours can too! Check out the pictures…..


Show and Tell: PVC Pipe with Puddles and Mud

20 Jun


After seeing our post on Building with PVC Pipe,  Christy @ Puddles and Mud sent me these pictures.

She and her son headed to Home Depot and bought some PVC pipes and connectors and then got busy creating!


Check out Puddles and Mud to see more pictures of what her son {and daycare kids} made with the Pipes!

Love the pictures Christy, I am so glad you guys had fun!


If you haven’t checked out our “Building with PVC” post, then check it out!  Here’s a little preview:

Watermelon Sorbet

15 Jun

Summer days are warm and wonderful and have a way of making you want an ice cream cone. What’s a kid to do when they don’t eat dairy?

Have some sorbet!

My Kids Make “Watermelon Sorbet” and yours can too! Cut up some watermelon and get started!


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