Monday, 29 October 2012

MAD Museum - Stratford-upon-Avon

We stopped into Stratford Upon Avon to see Shakespeare's houses, and came across the MAD museum.
MAD stands for Mechanical Art and Design.  What a cool museum this was, and although it was small, it packed a punch.  Alot 30 to 60 minutes for this museum.  

Every exhibit had buttons for the kids to push to make the object move, make sound, or otherwise interact with.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Stratford Upon Avon

My Sister-In-Law came to visit us, and we decided to take her out.  She wanted to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see Shakespeare's birthplace, so we drove over there!  What a great day out it was.  Little Man wasn't to interested in the old houses, furniture or anything, but he did like the gift shops.  Little Lady, who happens to have a bit more experience with Shakespeare was a bit more interested, but I think she liked the period costumes the employees were wearing and their period speech the best.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Thanksgiving - Be the change board

I was inspired by a pinterest board that I saw on Thanksgiving.  It is a board with little envelopes that the family writes the things that they are thankful for on each day.  I love the look and feel of the board, and have had it stewing in my mind for a little while.   The only thing is, we always do a big thanksgiving tree each year (the kids paint the tree on paper and we hang it on the wall) and then we gather leaves from outside and write what we are thankful for on each leaf, each day, with a sharpie marker and stick it to the tree.

The kids are really excited about the tree, and have already been asking (It's not even Halloween yet!) to do it again.  So I don't think I can scrap that for something else.  So....  while I think I'm going to do paper leaves for the tree this year (last years one looked pretty badly shrivelled by the end of the month), I'm going to stick with it.

As for the Thanksgiving board, what if, in stead of using it to write down the things we are thankful for, we use it as inspiration to do or say good things?  

So, here's what I decided to do.  I've  made the board, as shown...

But inside, I'm going to have business cards that each have something on it for us to do that gives thanks, shows thanks, shows love or appreciation to others.
I made a publisher doc with 30 different  cards for us to do.
The idea is that we pull the days card at breakfast, and do that thing during the day.
We will talk about our efforts and what we did at dinner each night.

*Note - I'll arrange the cards so that things we do with family members or requiring extra time fall on the weekend days!  *

Here is a list of what my cards say...
1.  Tell an immediate family member how much they mean to me
2.  Call an aunt or uncle and say "Hi!"
3.  Write a letter or draw a picture and mail it to a cousin.
4.  Send an email to my parents telling them about my day
5.  Phone up a friend I haven't talked to in a while and ask them how they are doing.
6.  Talk to a new person in school or work.  I will make friends.
7.  Tell a good friend how much they mean to me.
8.  Be extra nice to my boss or my teacher.  I will find something nice to say to that person.
9.  Hug my mother.  If she's not near me, I will make sure that she knows I love her.
10.  Hug my father.  If he's not near me, I will make sure that he knows I love him.
11. Treat my pets with extra love and caring. 
 12. Help out around the house, maybe doing something that I don’t normally do.
 13.  Tell my sibling(s) something nice about themselves.
 14. Donate something to charity (used clothing or toys)
 15.  Research opportunities for volunteering in my area and sign up for something.
 16. Write a note to an immediate family member telling them all the things you love about them.
 17.  Play a board game with my family.
 18.  Read a book with my family.
 19.  Bake something with my family.
 20.  Have a movie night with my family. 
 21.  Do a random act of kindness
 22.  Write a secret thank you for being you type note to a friend.
 23.  Remain content and happy all day.   I will remember all that I am thankful for.
 24.  Draw, paint or create a picture for someone I love.
 25.  Write a story that includes the people that I love.
 26.  Bake something nice and bring it into work or school to share
 27.  Write the names of 10 friends and write down something good about each of them
 28.  Remember our loved ones that have passed on, and talk about things we loved about them.
 29.  Do something I love doing.  Share it with someone I love.
 30.  Choose a family member; do something one on one with that person.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Fairies and Angels

It's Autumn Photo shoot time again!  The kids and I took a walk in the woods with the dog, and the camera.
Here are a few of our photos that we took.

And look what we turned some of the photos into!

My beautiful fairy.......

My handsome Angel..............

Friday, 12 October 2012

Create, Live and Enjoy

The kids and I have started a new Blog, it's called Create, Live and Enjoy.

The object of the blog is for our friends, family and school mates to join us in our explorations of the world.  These are things that we do weekly in our house, and it would be nice to share these things with others!

So.. If you have free time and want to join us learn about Art, Cooking, Science and play with Lego, then head on over to Create, Live and Enjoy!

Pick your challenge (or why not try all of them?)  and send me a photo with the challenge only (no photos of people will be uploaded) .  Put the challenge name and number in the subject line please.

Lets see what we can Create!


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Rice, hamburger and steamed veggies

What started out as rice, hamburger and tomato soup ( a big staple from my past) ended up as something different, but equally as yummy. I realized after browning the hamburger and cooking the rice that I didn't have any tomato soup, so I decided to steam some veggies instead and mix the ingredients together in a bowl.

While it tasted fine, I was missing some cohesion... So I whipped up some beef gravy in my TM. I added just enough to the dish to get it wet and coat it, but not so much that it was dripping with sauce.

The end result was a surprisingly good dish, easy to make, and easy on the wallet.

To duplicate, you will need
1lb ground beef ( or 500 g beef mince)
1.5 cups cooked rice
3 packages steaming veggies ( peas, carrots, green beans, corn)

Brown the meat, season with season salt or salt; drain.
Cook rice
Steam the veggies to package directions.

Mix all ingredients together.
In a separate container, or a TM bowl, add hot water and beef bouillon or beef granules, and mix until gravy consistency. Slowly pour onto rice mixture and mix until coated but not soaked.

Serve while hot with crusty bread.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Mexican Chicken, Pulao and spinach salad

Tonight's Dinner:
Mexican Chicken, Pulao and spinach salad

For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar salsa
shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Preparation:  place chicken in a small pan, cover with salsa
bake at 375 F or 220C for an hour (or until chicken is done)
last 5 minutes of cooking, add cheese until golden brown

Salad:   Fresh spinach leaves, roasted pine nuts, pomegranate and dressing
For dressing:  in a small jar, add equal parts good honey and good balsamic vinegar
To seed a pomegranate:  immerse it in water!  

For Pulao:  frozen mixed vegetables, tumeric, salt & rice, olive oil
Step 1:  saute a cup or so of frozen vegetables in a tbsp olive oil for 3 minutes
Step 2:  Add 1 to 1.5 cups of rice, 1 tsp tumeric, salt to taste, and double amt of rice in water.
Step 3:  Cover and simmer until rice is done (usually between 20 and 25 minutes)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

America makes dinner 2012

I love Cozi.  It's such an amazing web and Ipad/Iphone app, and I probably couldn't live without it anymore. When I saw that Cozi is having a contest to win the New Ipad by posting pinterest pictures of what dinner looks like in my house, I decided to participate.  Today is the 9th of October, and the contest closes on the 19th.  My plan is to take a picture of our dinner for the next 10 days and post the recipe.  Fingers crossed for me to win!  

Tonight' dinner was a quickie.  It literally takes 15 minutes.  

Ingredients:  pasta (any shape will do)
pancetta, hotdogs (cut up), smoked sausage, or other small meat pieces
vegetables that come in those prepackaged steam bags

1 - steam 2 bags of vegetables in the microwave
2.  quickly fry up (no oil or butter, as the meat should have plenty on it's own) the meat in a pan; drain
3. boil pasta to package directions
4.  When all ingredients are ready: mix together and serve.  No salt or added spices necessary.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Ivory cloud

On pinterest, I learned about making an Ivory cloud in the microwave.  It was a simple experiment, where you take a bar of Ivory soap and microwave it.  What an experience!  The kids loved this one!  Here's what we did.   First, I logged into my favorite Science Simulation website; PhET. and as I explained to the kids about how molecules jump around and get fast when heated, and slow down and jumble together when cold, I let them play with the Sim - States of Matter : Basics.  
Next, I explained to them that Ivory soap has a whole bunch of air bubbles trapped inside.  So much that it will float!  I let them unwrap and feel their soap and then we placed it onto a microwavable plate and set the timer to 5 minutes. (You won't need that long!)
After the molecules heat up, the soap will begin to bubble and deform.
It will grow and grow into a giant cloud.  

Careful when taking it out, your plate may be hot!

We let the kids use molds to pack in their soap

What do you think this looks like?