Textures – Toddler Activity Project Fail

I often browse through Pinterest looking for various activities to keep our toddler occupied throughout the day. As I find ideas, I think to myself, “I can do this. I can go to the dollar store and find items to come up with a project of my own.”

A short visit to the Dollar Tree near us and low and behold, I found two great items to create a quiet project to keep our toddler occupied… or so I thought.

A small storage container with compartments and a bag of colorful pom poms = color sorting activity. I hot glued a piece of pom pom to the bottom of each compartment and added a few more pom poms of the matching color to each. I thought it would be a success.

This sorting activity has been our nemesis the past few days. The wonderful itty bitty pieces of colorful fuzz seemed to multiply and explode onto our carpet each day.  They have become awesome pretend food.  We finally gave up trying to teach our toddler and decided to just join in the fun and pretend to eat the little colorful pieces of pretend pie, tea, cake or whatever our daughter cooks up.

I hope maybe someone can at least use this as an idea for a project of their own. I do have to admit, the pom poms have been a great, quiet tool and quite a hit at keeping my daughter occupied for long periods of time. I think the textures and the colors are what appeal to her. Perhaps someday she’ll want to actually sort them or maybe I’ll find another learning project to create with these fun, mini, fuzzy spheres. In the meantime, we’ll just enjoy the happiness they bring to our little girl.

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Unusual – Infamous Voodoo Donut

Unusual

While we were on our Portland, Oregon trip we decided to try out the infamous Voodoo Donut. The donuts were very tasty and reasonably priced. We waited in line for almost 25 minutes. The donuts are worth the wait if you are in Portland for a long visit. There are much more wonderful things to see and do in Portland if you are just making a quick visit.

We found that Portland is a great place to people watch. We probably would have left the line if it wasn’t for the street entertainment. There was a decent guitar player/singer performing right in front of Voodoo donuts. The downside to Voodoo Donut’s location is that there was a lot of pan-handlers right in that area. A few even approached us while we were in line.

Portland IMG_5808 Artsy

The store decor was eclectic and different but I guess it’s part of the charm. The donut fixture on their ceiling was definitely eye-catching and unusual.

Their donuts definitely live up to the company’s name. We loved the Voodoo Doll and the Maple Bacon donuts. The Doll contained a tasty raspberry filling and it was covered with great chocolate frosting. Talk about yummy Sugar Rush! The Maple Bacon donut was simply delish! (I’m a sucker for bacon.)

Yes. If we have the time to wait on our next trip to Portland, we’d definitely go there again.

Have you been to one of the Portland Voodoo Donut locations? If so, what are your thoughts on their donuts and your visit?

Hillside Collage of Roses

Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage7-2-2017 Rose Garden Artsy IMG_5896

Here are a few photos from our recent trip to the International Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The roses were spectacular!!! Even our little one enjoyed taking the time to smell a few roses here and there7-2-2017 Rose Garden Artsy IMG_5932

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

This is our oldest son being goofy at our last visit to the Hobbit House. I used the Orton custom effect on PicMonkey to edit the photos.

Goofy Framed Pictures.

Frame 1Frame 2

Fun Baby Picture

Couldn’t help but capture and share this fun picture of our daughter. Quite Artsy “Fartsy.

Weekly Photo Challenge:Fun!

Who Farted marked

Tuesday Visit with Grandma and the Tall Ships

Hawaiian Chieftain 2

Tuesdays are designated our day for Grandma this summer. Life gets so busy for us so we try to keep Tuesdays afternoon/evening as the days we get together and do something with my mother-in-law. Whether it’s to hang out here at our house, visit her at her retirement home or to go somewhere fun, our children know to reserve that day to visit with Grandma.

Grandma’s request for yesterday was to go and see the visiting wooden tall ships, the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain. We just watched the movie “In the Heart of the Sea” with Chris Hemsworth during our last visit with her. Maybe that spurred her interest in seeing some wooden ships up close. We didn’t get to tour the ships because the dockside tours are held earlier during the day but we were able to see the Hawaiian Chieftain set sail for their evening cruise around the bay.

Set Sail watermarked

Both ships are quite beautiful. We didn’t get to view the Hawaiian Chieftain up close but we were able to catch a few pictures of him with his sails up. We were able to get quite a few close up shots of the Lady Washington and a few random pictures around the docks of the Port of Brownsville.

Port of Brownsville sign watermarked

Port of Brownsville boats watermarked

Lady Washington 1 watermarked

It’s so interesting to see how much rope is involved in the functionality of all the sails. In the pictures it just looks like a knotted mess but each rope has a purpose.

Ship Ropes watermarked

Barnacles are found in abundance on the marina’s pilings.

Barnacles watermarked

There are a lot of little fish and jellyfish hanging out in the marina.

Fish watermarked

Do you love the sea? Could you imagine living on one of these tall ships out on the open sea for weeks at a time?

Portraits

Portraits

I love the first picture below of our son. These are some great portraits of him and of an Elk. We were visiting the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, WA when these were taken.

David black and white watermarked

Elk watermarked

David and Elk watermarked

Our Struggles to Eating Healthier

Vegetables watermarked

My husband and I attended a nutrition class last week to learn how to take better care for ourselves by choosing to eat wisely. After the class I rushed over to the store and bought all these good healthy fruits and vegetables for us to eat. My family loves eating fruits and vegetables. Our big problem is that we love the luxury of eating all the unhealthy stuff too.

Another issue is that my husband and I are both night owls. Before going to bed we always have something to look up on Facebook, an email to write or, for me, I get a wind of energy and decide to clean the kitchen. Well what happens when you’re still awake long after dinner? You get hungry of course. Staying up late is such a hard habit to break and it is a contributing factor to our unhealthy bodies.

One of my favorite go to snack is Moose Tracks ice cream. It just doesn’t end there because you can’t just eat ice cream. You have to have some type of salty chips to go with it too. Then after you eat all that sugar you probably can’t sleep. So you’ll need have a glass of wine to relax.

Yes, lately this has been the story of my life. As a child, I was that kid that everyone was trying to feed. I was very underweight and didn’t care very much for vegetables. Well actually I really just didn’t care to eat much of anything. That changed once I started having kids. Now that I am much older, my tastes buds have grown to love all types of different food. Ummm… maybe just a little too much. Nowadays the weight from eating all these different foods tend to stick around my waistline and energy is often non-existent. Mostly due to lack of sleep and horrible nutrition.

Well this is a struggle for both myself and my husband. We’ve taken the luxury of eating so much junk food that it has become a lifestyle for ourselves and our children. It’ll be very hard to deny ourselves all the sodium filled chips and sugary ice cream and sodas. I imagine it’ll take us a while to make a complete change in the way we eat and get our bodies back to a healthy state but we must do this for ourselves as well as for our children.

For now, it’s baby steps. We’ll have healthier snacks during the day in small increments. Some examples are portioned 1 oz. cheese, sesame crackers, assorted vegetables and assorted fruits. We’re trying our best to stay away from sodas and chips. I don’t think we want to quite give up the ice cream, or the occasional glass of wine or beer yet but we will aim to have them earlier in the evening and not at 11 pm at night.

While on my quest on researching to eat healthier I did find that you can easily google “How many calories in _________?” and Google will give you the information you need. Such a great tool to have if you want to count the calories you are taking in. Also, here are a few websites that I came across for those interested in adapting to healthier eating.

http://skinnyms.com/50-clean-eating-snacks/ 
http://slashedbeauty.com/healthy-snacks-easy-pack/ 
http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/8-foods-that-burn-belly-fat/?ref=pin

My Painted Rock

I love to paint! I have oodles and oodles of paints. It’s one of the many art supplies I love to hoard. I someday hope to take a painting course at our local college but in the meantime I use Pinterest and Bob Ross videos for ideas and tips. You have to love Bob Ross and his “happy little trees”.

Painted Rock

Here is my latest piece where I used very little of my oodles and oodles of collected paints. Yes, it’s a rock! It’s my first painted rock for a group in our community. The members of the group paint rocks and hide them for others in the community to find. Whoever finds the rocks can keep them or re-hide them for someone else to find. Such a great way to promote creativity and art within our community. Especially for the young children. A lot of people post pictures of the rocks they have been finding on the Facebook group page. It’s awesome to see all the great smiles and all the different artwork. I can’t wait to paint more rocks with my children and hide them.

I’ve created a Pinterest board just for painted rocks. So many ideas! I love it!

When we go camping…

IMG_1025

This entry is for another weekly photo challenge – “Narrow“.

When we go camping we often use the campground bathrooms as much as possible even though we have a bathroom in our camper. I usually do not have a problem walking down a path to the bathroom during the daylight but why does the path to the bathroom at the campground always seem so narrow in the dark?

At times, when I step out of our camper onto the trail to the bathroom, I get that claustrophobic feeling that the ferns and the leaves of the bushes are closing in and that something is watching me. Not necessarily a person but possibly an animal. Could be some raccoons scurrying around in the garbage or maybe owls hunting for mice. It’s always eerily quiet late at night in the campground. A snap of a twig could be a big mountain cat or a bear looking for food. It could also just be paranoia.

Am I the only one that feels this way?