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Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Laundry Mat Friendship

My washing machine, made in 1978, has died. I tried to get my Dad to fix it, but he told me to give it up and buy a new one. Well, we are shopping around for a washer, but we haven't committed to one yet.

This has resulted in a trip to the laundrymat to wash my clothes, then I bring them home to dry.

I was fully prepared to be unhappy about this, but we have a decent little laundry mat here in our town. A 4 load machine is $4, and it takes 20 minutes to do laundry. The place is fairly clean too, which is a bonus!

Today we stopped to do the laundry, instead of walking to the park we just waited it out for 20 minutes. A Little boy came in with his Dad. He instantly went up to my son and gave him a hug. We all laughed, it was adorable.

My son was hooked! This little boy was awesome! They ran around together, they made dinosaur sounds together, they hugged each other. They kissed each others cheeks. It was heart melting. When the little impromptu play date was over my son cried, he liked his new little friend so much, he didn't want the fun to end.

It made me feel great to see my son having fun and playing, and letting his sweet little personality shine!

I feel like my son has been at a disadvantage socially. I have been trying for 2 years to set him up with play dates. The parents I have met with children of a similar age are usually much younger than I am. I have handed out about 40 Mommy and Me cards, but we have not had any play dates. We go to the park several times a week, but there are never any little kids at the park at least not that we have seen. It gets discouraging. Maybe I have unfortunate timing, but even when I take him to the mall to play, there are very few little kids there, with the exception of the older school aged kids.

At this point I feel desperate to help him develop friendships and to have a playmate. It caught me by surprise to find the laundry mat would help solve the problem. When you least expect it, what you seek will find you.





Friday, June 22, 2012

Make Your Own 'Fabreeze'

I have 2 dogs, a cat and a toddler. There are a lot of times that I really need to refresh the fabric surfaces in my home.

I could use 2 or 3 bottles of Fabreeze easily,each week, as I try to keep a clean, fresh and fragrant home. This lead me to feeling guilty about my environmental impact, and I despised that I was reliant on chemicals.

Well, today I tried a DIY fabric refresher I want to share the recipe with you.

You need an empty spray bottle, such as an empty Fabreeze bottle. I used a 33 fluid ounce bottle that I had on hand. (I cleaned it very well first).

I filled the empty bottle with 30 ounces of hot water.
I added 2 ounces of Fabric Softner, Downy Orchid Allure.
I added 3 teaspoons of baking soda.
I mixed this well. And there you have a DIY fabric refresher, at a fraction of the cost! This is a great way to save money and reduce the amount of plastic that is thrown into the garbage.

It smells amazing, although I think I will reduce the amount of baking soda,as I thought the surfaces I had sprayed felt just a tiny bit gritty.

I will never buy Fabric Refresher again, and I can't wait to try another fragrance of fabric softner soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fathers Day- A Memory


For Fathers Day 2012. I wanted to give my Dad something special, beyond the standard tools and movies I normally give him.

It took a while to find the perfect gift, something he did not already have.

A relative, who I consider to be a dear friend too supplied me with the perfect gift.






From left to right:
(Front)Leroy and Anna Six
 Back Row: Roy and Wilfred Six

This photo is my Dads Grandparents, his Uncle Roy and His Father, Wilfred.
My grandfather, Wilfred served during WW2, he lost his leg at the Battle of the Bulge. I never met him or any of the relatives in this photo.

When I gave my Dad this photo, his eyes misted over. He said "I have never even seen this photo before! Sara, where did you get this?"

I said "Oh, I know people."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pictures of Our Summer

My son is a future Olympic swimmer! He has been floating on his back at 2 years old! Needless to say, his pool is a hit. Who would have thought a 30"x12' pool would be so much fun for our little family!?



The poor dog wants to get in the pool too! He has been cracking us up, while we are in the pool he circles it, and all you can see is his tail. It seems like we are being circled by a big, beautiful red shark! LOL


If you get near the edge, the dog (Fru) stops to give you a smooch. 


I can't resist sharing this one, from our trip to the Little Buckeye Museum. 



And one of us cuddling up on the Carousel. 


                                                            Gotta love that face!

   
Getting his face kissed off by Daddy at the park.
Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my husband Adam.

It has been 3 eventful, exciting years, and I can't wait to see what happens next!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Days

My husband is enjoying his 3 months off of work for summer break. I love having him around too!

It has been strange though. I cannot seem to figure out why my routines are so off track now. I guess it will take time before we establish a new routine. The little one is thrown off too, he has been waking up between 5 :20 ish and 6 am ish every morning for the past week. I love to get up early. The morning is the best part of the day. The quiet of the morning does it for me. I bask in the silence of my neighborhood.


I hate to say it, but the summer seems vapid so far. I have not really had any adventures worth mentioning. I went to the library, and of course my daily walks. Other than that I really don't even know what day it is without looking at a calender. I have just been hanging around.


I have been trying to plan activities, but it seems as if the great community things don't start until mid summer. We have been trying to fight boredom off by renting movies, playing outside and reading tons of books. Rolf has been waiting for several weeks, but finally his bouncy room comes in this week!

My Mother in Law has offered to buy a pop up pool for the backyard, and we are looking forward to that. My husband and I both love to swim. Rolf loves the water too. I admit I am a little nervous about a toddler and a backyard pool, but my husband assures me Rolfie will be fine, we will buy a swimming vest/suit thingy for him as soon as the pool is delivered and of course we will have a pool cover.

See, I told you. What a vapid summer!







Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Will You Carry Me? Review

My son Rolf loves to read. We love to encourage his love of books by offering a variety of titles on assorted subjects.

When Kane Miller sent me a copy of Will You Carry Me? Heleen van Rossum I couldn't wait to read it with Rolf. At 2 he is great at walking, but he sometimes would rather have Mommy or Daddy carry him around. This was a perfect book to share!

I thought the book was really fun, and contained a story that my little one could grasp. Rolf loves to play at the park and is often too tired to walk home, much like the little boy in the story.

I loved the illustrations! Mommy has a creative approach in the book and the  illustrations add an element of additional fun.

I also love that this book is from the Netherlands. I like to expose Rolf to other cultures at an early age, and Kane Miller books are always a great way to achieve cultural exposure at a young age.

Kane Miller offers many fun books to delight your young reader. My son thoroughly enjoyed Will You Carry Me,  and I did too! This book retails for around $4 and in my opinion is a great investment as your child will enjoy reading it many times, much like my son has!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Saturday, June 2, 2012

Butterfly Garden by Insect Lore Review and Giveaway










Insect Lore was kind enough to send me a Butterfly Garden kit with live caterpillars a few weeks ago to facilitate the coolest review I have ever completed! I can’t wait to share more info with you about this really cool company and their educational products.

About Insect Lore:
I found this on their website.
“Insect Lore was founded in California's San Joaquin Valley by Carlos White, an entomologist working with insects in the agricultural industry. In 1965, he had an idea to create a kit through which people of all ages could witness the metamorphosis of a real, live butterfly. It seemed like a great idea - but the key to its success would be to create a recipe for caterpillar food. This would enable the caterpillars to eat and get enough nutrition to become healthy adult butterflies. How hard could that be?

As the next three long years of trial and error proved, quite hard indeed. Mr. White finally came up with a successful dietary formula for the Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars in 1969. It was then that The Butterfly Garden was born. The concept was simple but revolutionary at the time: butterfly lovers would go into a store and purchase a kit which included a certificate that could be mailed to Insect Lore's "butterfly nursery" in order to receive live caterpillars by mail.  The caterpillars would be shipped to the customer in a special jar that included Mr. White's unique caterpillar food. In time, the caterpillars would eat the food, change into chrysalides, and finally emerge as adult butterflies in The Butterfly Garden hatching box. After a few days of observation, the butterflies would be released to benefit nature - delighting both the customer and the butterflies.

The special diet made all this possible, and the Insect Lore "butterflies-by-mail" magic began. The first Butterfly Garden kits were wildly colored (this was the 60's, after all), and the habitat was a box with round plastic windows. Groovy!”








When my kit arrived, my husband and I were really thrilled!  We couldn’t wait to watch the caterpillars metamorphosis into a butterflies!

The process was unbelievable easy. I placed the caterpillars in their plastic container in a cool dark place and observed them each day. I loved watching them grow and work their way to the top of the container. Once the caterpillars were inside their chrysalis I used a safety pin to attach the top of the container to the butterfly garden.

Within 16 days of arrival, I had 5 gorgeous painted lady butterflies peacefully fluttering around in the garden, which is a pleasant mesh container that zips at the top.


We kept the painted ladies for 5 days. We offered them carnations and slices of oranges and apples sprinkled with sugar water as food. When the time came to set them free, my family was sad. We enjoyed this project so much!

Insect Lore has many amazing kits for sale. You can hatch butterflies, moths, jelly fish and fish to name a few. You can also grow lily pads, which sounds quite fun! My family is already discussing trying our hand at raising moths.

I loved that the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden was so easy to use. There is virtually no work and all you need is water, a tablespoon of sugar, a flower and a safety pin. I loved that we learned about how caterpillars turn into butterflies and we could watch their development. I also loved that the kit is affordable, at under $20. This is a perfect summer project to keep the family learning.

I would recommend Insect Lore to anyone, from parents to educators. There are many kits available to meet a variety of interests and budgets.

One very lucky reader will win a Butterfly Garden of their own, thanks to the kindness of Insect Lore! To enter via the rafflecopter form below!

This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older.
I want to take a minute to tell you about a really fantastic project I learned of via the Insect Lore Facebook page. In honor of the 1.5 million children who lost their lives during the Holocaust, The Holocaust Museum is collecting handmade butterflies to display. You can create a butterfly and send it to the museum to be included in this meaningful and moving display. My family is going to work on our butterflies this week.  This would be a great way to teach your children about the holocaust while paying a tribute to the children who perished, and keeping their memory alive.

You can learn more by visiting 
http://www.sentinel-standard.com/newsnow/x1832932689/THE-BUTTERFLY-PROJECT-Collecting-butterflies-to-honor-the-youngest-victims-of-the-Holocaust 





“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



a Rafflecopter giveaway