Month: February 2017

Tasty or Terrible: Non-edible edition

Today I wanted to share with you a very successful Gak recipe.  No, it’s not something you eat, but if you have kids you know how this stuff is in high demand right now.  Finding the right recipe is tricky.  I headed to Pinterest to find thousands of gak or slime recipes.  How do you choose when there are so many options?  I ended up choosing one that I had all the ingredients on hand.  And from a website I’ve followed (on Instagram) so I felt like I could trust it a little more.  I’m not wanting to waste money, even if it’s only $4.

The recipe I used came from Lilluna.com.  There are plenty of awesome activities and recipes on this site.  (If you give any a try, let us know how they turn out)  The recipe was so easy and quick to make.  It took less than 10 minutes and gave the kids over TWO hours of entertainment.  We made two batches.  One color for each kid so there’s no fighting!

What you’ll need (for one batch):

2 bottles of Elmer’s glue
Water
Gel food coloring
Borax
Medium bowl
Cup
Spoon

Empty the two bottles of glue into the bowl.  Take the empty bottles and fill them with warm water.  Shake for a minute or so.  Empty into the bowl.  Stir.  Add as much food coloring to get your desired color (I used gel because that’s all I had on hand and it worked great).  Stir.

Take the empty cup and put in 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of borax.  Stir until the borax is dissolved.  Pour into the glue mixture.  Stir (massage) the liquid with hands to form the gak.  This will take a couple minutes for small hands.

Ok, here is where I thought we totally messed something up.  It starts getting thick, stringy and it doesn’t seem the liquid will mix into the thick formation.  It does, so keep mixing it.  Xander did his completely by himself and loved getting his hands messy.  The messy residue will come off your hands as you keep massaging the gak together.

Sterling does NOT like getting her hands messy.

This was the coolest, easiest, most fun project we have done in a while.  We’re already excited to make more batches with new colors!

Like I said, they sat there and played with their gak for over two hours after we made it.  I was able to get house chores done without the kids nagging.  They were entertained and I was enjoying the calmness all around.

Sterling has the most fun creating things out of her gak.  She has a creative little mind!

Yesterday, we brought out the rolling pins.  We also made one into a large ball and played hot potato around the table.  So fun!  When it falls, it bounces, haha!

We store ours in the little plastic containers that we used to make them.  Thanks Kristyn for a recipe that turns out!  Head to her blog for more inspiration ideas!

Next, I want to try making fluffy paint.  Have you tried to make it?  Did it turn out?  Please share below!

Friday Favorites: Warm weather

Happy Friday!  As always, we’re linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci with our Friday Favorites from the week.

{Bridget}  What a wonderful week it has been.  Does the warmer weather help shift you into a more positive person?  The warmth just lifts my spirits right up.  I’ve been outside soaking up as much free vitamin-d as possible.  One reason I LOVE the warm weather is because my “Uncle Ray” (Raynaud’s) takes a hike until the weather cools.  I call this disease my uncle, but he’s an uncle I don’t give a warm welcome to 🙂

We’ve had a busy week.  I had my hair done, and for some reason it took 3 hours, so this girl ended up missing her speech session.  I switched my hair days to not interfere with anything because I’d rather her attend her sessions.  I’m really going to miss my little mini when she starts kindergarten!

I decided to not get my hair cut, so it can be a little longer for our cruise.  I’m loving the color, and hiding the grays!

The kids enjoyed the hot tub one afternoon.  They wanted to practice their swim lessons.  Sterling ended up doing more gymnastics and Xander became a pro at dunking his head.

Time for lessons.  Someone was nervous, you decide, haha!

They did so well.  Even the nervous one.  He was terrified that they were going to let him drown.  Passing to level two was a favorite.  My goal is to have confident swimmers (without floaties) before our cruise.

With our warm weather, we played at the park.  They were so excited that I played with them.  #itsthelittlethings  We played hide and seek tag.  It was fun, until I was sneaking up on Xander to tag him and he didn’t like it.  I told him the game is about strategy, and that was my strategy to win.  I won, it worked, and he wasn’t happy.  🙂

Xander brought along some toys to the park.  After the park, we went to the commissary to grab some groceries.

We bought a trampoline on President’s Day.  The kids have been jumping on it every day since.  Sometimes I’ll hop on.  I’ve been trying to involve myself with their activities more because it seems to make our days go smoother when they’re not begging me to “play” with them.

Sterling and I went birthday cake browsing (she took the cake picture 🙂 ).  Her birthday is in 21 days and picking out cakes is her favorite!  Where do you like to buy (cup)cakes from?  I’m thinking Sam’s but our bakery lady is really rude, so I’m not sure I want to.

{Stacy} We, too, have been experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures for the past couple weeks.  40s and 50s in February in North Dakota is pretty unusual, but definitely a favorite of ours.  Except that the outdoor ice rinks could be for swimming rather than ice skating as they are all melted.  The kids have been loving being outside in just their snow pants and sweatshirts.  I’ve been making them wear snow pants as the snow hasn’t quite disappeared, though a good chunk of it is gone.  When they come inside the house, they’re completely drenched!

We took the kids to our local home show this past week.  They always have so much fun going from booth to booth collecting candy and other junk goodies.  Maisyn loved the lawn tractors.

Bode went for the mini excavator, his favorite!

Meanwhile, Talyn and Kinley found a virtual reality ride.  Maisyn even enjoyed it.

My favorite from the week is hockey practice.  Seeing Bode progress in the one season he has been in hockey is so awesome to watch.  We happened to arrive early to this week’s practice and the ice was open so the coaches let the kids on the ice early, which is why there are just a few kids out there.  Bode’s in red, in the middle of the circle.

Has the warmer weather hit your area?  Do any of you live with Raynaud’s?

Tasty or Terrible: Pepper Casserole

Hello, friends!  I hope your day has started out well and you’re ready for a super easy, super tasty recipe?  You should make it this week.  We are on a huge pepper kick in our house lately.  Like, addicted.  We’ve never had a problem with peppers before, but now, we’re eating them all them time.  Does your family love peppers too?

I’ve been buying the large bags of mini peppers, so I wanted to make Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers from Cook’s Illustrated.  I’ve made the recipe a handful of times, but because Nick does not like a large pepper stuffed, I thought to coarsely chop the mini peppers.  I knew I wanted to use the pepper filling from my original recipe because Nick LOVES the filling.  However, when he sees the recipe sitting out, he quickly rolls his eyes and asks if I’m really making it for dinner.  He “hates” it 😉

Super Easy Pepper Casserole

1.5 tbsp EVOO
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 lb ground beef
3 med garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup jasmine rice
1 can Rotel tomatoes
2 cups Mexican Cheese, divided
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
pepper and salt to taste
8-10 mini peppers (any color.  I used red, orange and yellow)
8 oz tomato sauce

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Step 2:  In a skillet, add oil and swirl to coat pan.  Add onion and cook until browned and softened.  Add ground beef, breaking into pieces until no longer pink.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.  Turn off heat.
Step 3:  Pull out a 9×13 casserole dish.  Add rice, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, parsley, salt/pepper, chopped peppers, and tomato sauce.   Mix well.
Step 4:  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Bake for about 30 minutes.
Step 5:  Enjoy!

After Nick gave me attitude at the beginning of the process, he devoured 3/4 of the pan.  He really enjoyed this version since the peppers were chopped up.  Now I have a new way to make “stuffed peppers” that everyone can enjoy.

Is your family a “stuffed” pepper lover?  If so, you should really try this adapted version.  What are some of your favorite pepper recipes?

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday lovelies!  We’re linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci with some of our Friday Favorites from the week.
{Bridget}  Today, I’m getting my hair done.  I used to have it done every 6 months, but now I’m going every 5 weeks.  I probably should be going after only 3 weeks because I HATE when my roots are showing.  They’re starting to show the grays.  We don’t have any big plans for the weekend.  I have to work on my paper for class, finish laundry, do housework, and I want to build some legos.  Did I really just tell you that?!  Nick says I buy the kids legos so I can build them.  Maybe I do 🙂

I was happy dancing through the store after I found these babies!  Living in Germany, I’d go to the village just for some Happy Hippos and a coke light.  They were my favorites in Germany.  I miss coke light!  Like fiercely.  When I found this bad boy, I snagged three, but only enjoyed one because I was nice and shared 🙂  It’s hard to do when something this good is around.

My heart melted into a giant puddle when I saw my favorite grandpa dressed up and aged on the 100th day of school.  He loved aging and learning about some of the changes that happen as you get older.

Nick has been car shopping for the past year because he’s just never really liked his XC90.  So, he went back to a BMW, but upgraded to the 5 series.  We all love it.  My favorite is his backup camera.  Seriously, how can a backup camera be so high tech?  I’ll trade him cars, just so I can have his camera.  Kidding, kidding.  It was not my favorite when he texted 3 hours earlier than his usual saying he’s on his way home and we’re going across town in rush hour to look at this car.  I had just started marinating chicken for dinner.  Which we ended up having on Valentine’s instead.  So, it worked out.

With our Disney cruise coming up, I enrolled the kids in swim lessons this week.  I would much prefer not bringing floaties along.  Sterling is so excited and was sad that she couldn’t swim that night.  Swimming is her favorite!

Did your kids exchange valentines with friends?  I made Sterling write her name this year.  Seeing how she wrote it differently on each card was my favorite.  It’s so cute how 4-year-olds write so large.  She has all her letters there, including a backward L and N 🙂

These two are my favorite valentine!

This little smartie pants won the “SOAR” award for the quarter in his class for “always listening well in class and following directions.”  Seeing him excel is definitely a favorite!

On Wednesday we went to D.C.  The kids skipped school and we went to take a tour.  After the tour was over, we rode the train.  Taking train rides are a new favorite way to get around.

Are you glad it’s Friday?  Do you have any fun plans for the long weekend?

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