Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Corndog muffins and rainbow pancakes

So I originally saw the idea for corndog muffins here So I used one box and four hot dogs for 12 muffins. I cut the hot dog into thirds, stuck one piece in each muffin tin, then poured cornbread mix over it. If you want the hotdogs not to be partially covered (which would be prettier), then go ahead and put the hot dogs in AFTER you pour the mix into the muffin tins. Or if you want it to look more like the picture in the original link, you can either cut the hot dog into fourths or use two boxes of mix. Personally, I liked the proportion of hot dog to corn bread, so I'll make it the same way next time :) Here's how they turned out. (1 box of Jiffy mix + 1/3 cup of milk + 1 egg, baked for 15 min)

I made the corndog muffins yesterday, then today we had rainbow pancakes. These were so easy! I mixed instant pancake mix in a big bowl, then divided it into six containers. I used food coloring to make the mix pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, each in their own containers. Then I drizzled each color into a frying pan (over medium heat) to make rainbow pancakes!

Cut up for the Aubster

I forgot to get pictures of her actually eating it-- my bad. But the colors were definitely a hit :) She kept grinning when she was eating them. Success!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

West Neck Creek trail

We couldn't bear to stay inside on such a beautiful day, so we headed to the local West Neck Creek park and went hiking :)

Aubs decided to wander off into the woods...

And then led us on to the trail!

Fearless leader!

Even explorers get tired! Time to hitch a ride with Mommy.

We headed home, where she wanted to play with the rocks and line them up

I love her little dress :) We picked it up when we were visiting family back in Colorado and it's so bright and cheerful! She has really been digging these Teva sandals, too. They're perfect for her "off-roading" haha!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

First OBX trip of the season

At the end of last summer, we discovered the Outer Banks (abbreviated OBX), an awesome beachy strip of land about an hour and a half south of us. It was the very end of the season, so we only got a few trips in, but this year we are determined to go at least 10 or 15 times. There are AWESOME beaches, trails, parks, and mini-golf courses, which we are psyched to check out. We were actually heading to a local park, but saw the signs for the OBX and said, "What the heck?" and drove down there instead :) We love spontaneity! We always have a full diaper bag with snacks, water bottles, sandals, sunscreen, etc., so we're always ready for a surprise trip to hiking trails or the beach. We went to Jockey's Ridge State Park which, though dried up this early in the season, was still fun as a sand dunes location!

Aubs tolerating a hat for, like, the first time. Ever. She wore one once for one day last summer, then never again. This is the second time that we've put her in the UV bucket hat and she loves it! Fingers crossed that it lasts for the season!

Found a cool tree

Found an overlook area

We found a sweet old dog whose owner said he loved attention!

Then some playing in the sand and we headed home :)

It was such a beautiful day!

It is SUCH a relief that she's such an outdoorsy kid-- she loves get to wet and sandy and muddy. She loves sunshine, grass, sticks, and fresh air. My husband and I love being outside and prefer outdoor activities to indoor ones, so it's really encouraging for us that we'll be able to raise our kids doing the things that we love.

Another awesome day!

Friday, April 12, 2013


Ah, it's finally April! We went ahead and bought most of our flowers and herbs for the season yesterday, so I potted them today. I have NEVER gardened before, ever. I killed everything, even cacti growing up, so I just gave up and resigned myself to a life of grass yards. Well, I figured what the heck, I'm in my twenties now. Why not give it a shot?

The big haul


Bleeding hearts and some begonias. I have wanted bleeding hearts ever since my grandmother had them in her garden when I was a kid. I thought that they were beautiful, magical, and terribly romantic. I'm so excited to finally have some!

Hot pink gerber daisies about to bloom!

A cute leafy plant and some more begonias for inside

A couple of herbs-- I use these all the time cooking, so I figured why not just grow my own?

Arranged on the porch

On the sill outside

Then we had play gardening! (Rice from here.)

The set up

Then I showed it to Aubs, who dove right in :)

Snack break!
Ready to go again!

Offering me the flowers

This activity was so colorful and fun :) Definitely a spring staple!

15,000-year-old pottery used for cooking

I was reading the news this morning and came across a really neat anthropological discovery. Scientists found pottery fragments dating back to about 13000 BC from a hunter-gatherer society in Japan. They did chemical analysis on the fragments and actually found that there are charred remnants of food with amino acids commonly found in seafood (which would be consistent with what a society near the coast of Japan would eat). How COOL is that?! It totally revolutionizes the idea that pottery originated from the Middle East-- now it looks like East Asian hunter-gatherers may have discovered pottery and introduced it to the western world. SO interesting! I wish that Aubs was a bit older so that we could do a "current events" project on it!

Credit: Tokamachi City Museum


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rainbow rice garden

I pinned this (http://shareandremember.blogspot.com/2011/06/rainbow-rice-garden-sensory-play.html) wayyyy long ago and finally did it today. It really is as simple as she makes it sound. I made sure to invest in getting the liquid watercolors (http://www.discountschoolsupply.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=117&keyword=liquid+watercolor&scategoryid=0&CategorySearch&Brand&Price) before I did it instead of the food coloring, because I wanted more of a color variety. Amazing results, seriously.

For each color, I took a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, dumped 4 cups of rice, 2T of liquid watercolor, and 3T of rubbing alcohol in, then sealed it and massaged it around to coat the rice evenly. Once it was evenly coated, I dumped it out onto paper towels on my tarp and let it dry outside. I didn't check it for like an hour and they were 100% dry at that point. I'm sure that they were dry earlier. Here they are drying initially.

Close up of the purple

Warning-- if you have anywhere to go looking like a grown-up right afterwards, wear gloves. And long pants. And long sleeves. Maybe a HAZMAT suit? My hands afterwards (my legs/feet/arms/clothes were all speckled as well, but not nearly as badly-- those liquid watercolors are definitely messy!).

Then once they dried, I combined them in a single container.

Close-up of the rice-- I did pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Turned out beautifully!

Wooden bead threading

So we got a new toy in the mail the other day-- a wooden bead threading kit. Ah-mazing. My daughter dove right into it and built these 100% on her own-- no prompting, no guidance, no help threading the beads.

Then the second day, this was her morning build.

All of these made in a minute or two each-- she looooves this game. She's also a bit focused on patterns and order, which I think is cute. She's been putting everything "away" in drawers since before she could walk, so it's just one of her quirks. Love this kid.

Trip to Northwest River Park

We are almost always hiking or out doing something, so there will probably be quite a few posts like this one over the course of the summer...and fall...and winter and spring. We hit up Northwest River Park, which is one of our favorite local parks to hike at.

Learning big stick versus little stick

Impromptu math lesson-- counting sticks

One, two, three...

Found a seed pod from a tree!

Found an awesome stick!
She has rhythm sticks at home, so she was trying to rub these to make the sound :)

So excited to share her new discovery with me

Aubree brought Daddy a flower, so he obliged and wore it for her-- he's such a big softie for his girls.

Aubree is totally an outdoors kid-- it's a relief for Scott and I, because we're so outdoorsy ourselves. It really takes the stress level down for accommodating her when we want to go out. Anyways, another awesome trip in the books.