DIY Terra Cotta Fairy House

 

DIY Terra Cotta Fairy House Planter

I can’t wait to plant a cute fern or flower in this. This was pretty simple and quick to put together, even with my limited painting skills.

Materials

Terra cotta pieces – purchased from Henery Hardware

Decorative Door – Michaels

Marbles – Dollar store or Michaels (I had some left over from a previous project. Actually purchased mine from a local thrift store).

Glue for terra cotta, door and marbles – E6000 from Michaels

Instructions

1 – Paint each terra cotta piece.

2 – Seal pieces with a clear coat of spray enamel. (This planter is going outside in the mini garden I’m creating and I don’t want the paint to get washed away by the rain).

3 – Glue the two bottom pieces together. Leave the top pot free. It’ll be much easier to place a plant in it.

4 – Next, glue the door and marbles to the front of the bottom piece.

Terra Cotta Planter

 

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

Spontaneous Park Visit

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Since our youngest son doesn’t have a phone of his own yet, I downloaded the Pokemon Go app for him last week. He asked if we could go walking yesterday evening so that he could play it. I am all for him wanting to get out of the house and away from the TV and computer. This also gave me an opportunity to take some pictures of the thriving community garden at our local park.

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Even though the park is really close by, I have to admit that I am out of shape so I still drove to the park. When we arrived there was some event going on and we ended up parking on the road. I have to admit, when we pulled up, I thought that the crowd was all there for the Pokemon Go craze. I was wrong. We took a tour of the community garden and then the park just cleared out. Except for a few people out for their evening walk, the park was basically empty. It was dusk (about 8:45 pm). Bedtime for most children. For me, it was the perfect time for some picture taking.

IMG_3589Gear Artwork watermarkedSwing watermarked

It was a wonderful spontaneous park visit. My son was happy he was able to pick up some balls from the Poke stop (so it’s called) and I was happy I got to practice taking pictures with my camera.

Waiting watermarked

Do you have any community gardens where you live? Are you or your children into the Pokemon Go craze?

Playing With PicMonkey

Oh My! I found a new toy! Thank you Carrie from http://www.carrieelle.com/ for suggesting PicMonkey in your article.  http://www.carrieelle.com/ways-to-improve-photos/

I really love this app. There are so many ideas running through my mind of what I can do with PicMonkey. I have decided to try their 7-day trial but I’m sure I’ll end up subscribing for their Royale Package. Here are just 2 pictures I took tonight while visiting our local community garden. I love the extra textures you can give your pictures using PicMonkey.

Sunflower1 rustic sunflower watermarked

Cabbage1 Cabbage watermarked

Do you have a favorite photo editor program that you use to edit your photos?

When we go camping…

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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?

Pies in a Fire Pit

Since our son has become proficient, and confident, at making campfires, he has been bugging us to make pizza pies in our pie irons for dinner. We decided last night was the night. I ran to the store to purchase the ingredients and we had a great time making the pies.

Our son did a great job in building and starting the camp fire in our fire pit. He used scrap standard construction wood (from our college teen’s summer lumberyard job) but the coals didn’t last as long as we wanted it too. (I took too long taking pictures for my blog). We were able to cook 3 pizza pies but then the coals started to die off.

We had a bag of charcoal for back up just in case and it worked quite well. My husband added about a fourth of a small bag of charcoal to the already established wood coals and, with just a few well-placed breaths, he soon had the charcoal blazing.  We were able to finish cooking the rest of pizza and dessert pies after the coals were ready.

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It took about 20-30 minutes for the wood to burn down to coals. Charcoal burns down much more quickly.  The wood coals also may not last as long as charcoal depending on the type of wood that you use.  Hardwoods burn hotter and longer than soft woods.

Start cooking your pies as soon as the coals are ready. You do not want to put your pies in the fit pit while there are big flames. The flames will cause your pies to burn. You can add more wood to increase the coals as you go along, but you’ll need to wait for the big flames to die down before you can start cooking your pies again.

Here are some ingredients you will want ready for some fun pie making.

  • Loaf of bread
  • Softened butter
  • Pizza sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Sliced olives
  • Cherry or Apple Pie filling
  • Cream Cheese Spread (for cherry pie)

Pie Iron

As soon as your coals are ready you’ll want to prep your pies.

1 – Add butter to the insides of your pie iron or to your bread. Place butter side of bread down on the bottom piece of your pie iron.  (Make sure the bread position matches)

2 – Place your preferred ingredients on the bread then cover with another buttered slice of bread. Ensure that the butter side is up

3 – Close up your pie iron with the provided clip and scrape away any bread sticking out of the pie iron. What is left out of the pie iron will burn and will not taste well.

4 – Place your pie iron onto the coals. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes then flip the pie iron. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes more.  It will take longer as the coals burn down.0

5 – Remove the pie iron very carefully (using the wooden handles) and place it on a non-flammable, heat resistance surface (ideally a wooden cutting board).

6 – Unclip the clasp and open up the pie iron. Very carefully remove your pie with utensils or by removing the top piece of the pie iron and flipping the food from the bottom iron onto a plate.

The pie and its contents will be very hot. My suggestion is to cut the pie in half and let cool before giving it to any small child. I even like cutting mine and letting it cool just to be on the safe side. I have to admit that my son and I were not fans of the pizza pies that we made but we did love the fruit pies. I’d love to try cooking tuna melts in the pie irons next. Here is a link to other recipes.

http://www.pieiron.com/recipes.htm

Have you tried cooking in pie irons? If so, what are your favorite pies to make?

Here is the link to purchase the pie irons we have.

https://www.amazon.com/Rome-Industries-1705-Sandwich-Cooker/dp/B000FNLXWG