A List Maker's Life: April 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mini Mural Studio

Have you ever been to a "wine and canvas" event?  There is great studio in our area that serves snacks and drinks while giving the step-by-step directions for paintings.  The patient instruction, and wait time for painting, makes every participant feel like a professional artist by the time they finish.

Last year for her birthday Anne Hope had a special date with Gram to Brush Studio where she painted a whimsical flower print for her room.  She loved the experience and was very mature about following along.

On her list for Spring Break activities Hope wanted a repeat visit to the studio.  However, it wasn't a great fit for the boys or our time.  With a little creative thinking between mom and dad we were able to make her painting dream come true, with a friend, in our home.

Using some cut pallet pieces, shelves from an old cabinet in the garage, and chalk board paint Kevin created easels for the experience.  Anne Hope brainstormed a painting she would like to make.  I made a model of the painting to teach the step-by-step instructions.  The girls followed along enthusiastically mixing, blending, sponging, and brushing.

They were both pretty excited about their final pieces.

We are excited to have the easels, brushes, and plenty of paints to repeat on a rainy summer day.  In fact, I might ask Kevin to build three more easels so the boys can join us next time!

What favorite experiences or events have you tried to re-create at home with your family?

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Essential Oils: Easy Peppermint Fudge

Anne Hope and I have been prepping to teach a Girl Scout troop a bit about the benefits of essential oils.  We have put together several fun activities, a short slide show, and 2 great make & takes for the girls to mix.  It seemed the only thing missing was a yummy snack.  With a quick modification to a quick and easy fudge recipe, we have a delicious oily treat to share.

The directions really are simple:
1. Melt a full bag of chocolate chips. 
2. Stir in a jar of frosting. 
3. Add essential oils for flavoring.
4. Pour into 8x8 pan
5. Let set & cut to serve

I did use chocolate frosting this time, but when I make it again I will use vanilla instead for a creamier taste and a little lighter color.  I think it would also be delicious to try this recipe with white chocolate chips and orange essential oil.

We are going to serve our Chocolate Peppermint Fudge with a citrus flavored ice water.  Hopefully the tastes don't clash too much and give the girls a good idea about some of the ways essential oils could be used in our food too.

While I was feeling brave about mixing essential oils into our food, I also added a couple drops of lemon oil to our favorite hummus recipe.  Yum!  What have you cooked/baked with essential oils?
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lego Minifigure Storage Solution

Last week I posted this picture of an almost complete project with the hashtag #boyproblems.  My friends with children between the ages of 8-11 immediately recognized which mess we were hoping to organize with this creation. 
Gavin has been carefully collecting all of his Lego minifigures in rows along the ledges in his bedroom to keep them from losing little hands, swords, and hats in the big box of Legos. It worked to keep them from getting lost, but made it very difficult when it was time to dust his shelves. 
To prep for this project we counted out the favorite figures he wanted to display and dug through the Legos for enough 2x2 squares for each of those.  There were a few bigger characters that required 2x4 Legos.  We picked out a few extra 2x2's as well since his collection continues to grow. 
Then we headed to our favorite Hotel Furniture Outlet.  They warehouse and sell furniture and accessories that have been taken our of hotels when they are remodeled.  It takes some careful examining and searching through the stacks but we have repurposed many of these items for projects around our home.  In this case we bought a large framed painting and the deal of the week was Buy 1 Artwork, Get 1 Free
We cut through the backing on the frame and popped out the art work. We wrapped the existing piece in a slab of butcher paper and secured it back in the frame. It took a little bit of dry erase marking to be sure we had the blocks measured out in even rows, but we arranged the pieces then wiped the marker off once everything was glued in place.  The 2x2 lego bricks are directly on the glass.  The mini-figures easily snap on and off  their platforms for easy play or storage.
Gavin was excited to arrange his favorite minifigures and hang them on the frame.  Seeing how it came together inspired Anne Hope to organize all of her favorite Lego Friends ladies and their little accessories.  She chose to paint her frame, mixed a color she liked, and even ironed a piece of fabric she found in the scrap box to use instead of butcher paper.  We didn't have enough pink 2x2 bricks to finish her board right away, so we are waiting for our $4 ebay order.  As soon as they arrive we will glue this baby together and hang it in her room as well.
I love it when the kids' creativity and my need for organization collide to make a fun and functional project!
How do you store your Legos? 
 Do you kids like to keep sets together or do they all end up mixed in one big pile?
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Friday, April 10, 2015

"Owie" Spray

Our family has been benefiting significantly from many different essential oil blends in rollers, lotions, and sprays. With the kids playing outside more often again, riding their bikes, and practicing baseball we have plenty of opportunities for cuts, scrapes, and road rash.  This all purpose "owie" spray is our new solution for quick relief and healing. 

I am looking forward to sharing other blends as we try them. 

Are you using essential oils?
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Break Sensory Bubbles

This simple, soapy sensory activity was fun for all ages.  A dab of dish washing liquid and a little water met the Kitchen Aid and grew, grew, GREW!  We filled our mixing bowl with three different colors and then scooped the foam into cake pans for some good, clean play. 
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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter '15

Won't you take this cup from me
Cause fear has stolen all my sleep
If tomorrow means my death
Pray you'll save their souls with it
Let the songs I sing bring joy to you
Let the words I say confess my love
Let the notes I choose be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you
In this hour of doubt I see
Who I am is not just me
So give me strength to die myself
So love can live to tell the tale
Let the songs I sing bring joy to you
Let the words I say confess my love
Let the notes I choose be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you
~Needtobreathe, Garden
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