Monday, December 31

Happy New Years!

Washington State Museum

There are only a few days left to view the model train displays.

Thursday, December 27

Whirlpool Experiments

The girl wanted to experiment with how whirlpools behave so they are playing with my milk foamer.

Sunday, December 23

Review: APOLLO 13: MISSION CONTROL Interactive Show (with Discount Code)

We went to the Apollo 13: Mission Control yesterday and love it.  We sat at the front and were in charge of the communications.  Everyone had a job, depending on where you sit at the control panels.  They also have seats along the edge for the press galley (those who just want to watch the show.)

During the show they asked for two volunteers to be interviewed by Walter Cronkite.  Princess A was picked and for her it was the highlight.  They projected her interview up on the screen during the show.  She can't stop talking about her interview. 



The show is fast and so much fun.  You really do become part of the show.  The girls are already talking about going to the show if it ever comes back.  The show is in Tacoma through next Sunday and then it is on to Spokane.  If you decide to go make sure you use the discount code "MOM".  For more detail about the show please see my previous post.


Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to attend the show.

Saturday, December 22

Apollo 13: Mission Control

We just left the show at the Tacoma Dome, we loved it. Review will be posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 18

APOLLO 13: MISSION CONTROL Interactive Show (with Discount Code)

APOLLO 13: MISSION CONTROL
Apollo 13: Mission Control is an interactive theater show.  The audience sits at replica consoles and become Mission Control for one of the greatest survival stories of the 20th century (or if you would just like to watch the show you may sit instead in the press box and just observe.)  At the replica consoles there are switches to be flicked, monitors to study and phone calls to make. One lucky audience member even gets to become an astronaut and travel into space for the evening! Apollo 13: Mission Control has sold out audiences in New Zealand and Australia and is launching its USA tour here in Tacoma, WA at the Tacoma dome. 

When I first heard about this show I was intrigued, what a fun and very different activity to do over winter break.  I love having my kids off for two weeks but sometimes it can be a struggle keeping them busy.  The interactive show opens Friday but ends December 30th. 

SHOW DATES & TIMES

Friday, December 21 / 7:00PM
Saturday, December 22 / 3:00PM
Sunday, December 23 / 11:00AM, 2:00PM & 5:00PM
Wednesday, December 26 / 3:00PM & 6:00PM
Thursday, December 27 / 11:00AM & 3:00PM
Friday, December 28 / 7:00PM
Saturday, December 29 / 3:00PM & 7:00PM
Sunday, December 30 / 11:00AM & 2:00PM

My family and I plan on going to the show.  If you do go there is a great promotion:

KIDS FLY FREE! Make sure and purchase your tickets using the code “MOM” and receive up to two free tickets for kids 6-12. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and the code can be entered in the Promotions and Special Offers box on the purchase page of each event.

To find out more information you can connect with Apollo 13: Mission control:
www.apollo13live.com

@apollo13live
facebook.com/apollo13missioncontrol





Disclosure: I will be receiving complimentary tickets to attend the show.

Wednesday, December 12

Gingerbread House Party

Every year I make gingerbread houses for our Girl Scout Meeting. Here are my girls' houses after they finished decorating.

Monday, December 10

Dye-free Candy Canes Recipe


Dye-free Candy Canes
Ingredients:
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Cover a cookie sheet with light layer of oil, if you have a splat mat oil that. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar dissolves. Insert a candy thermometer and continue cooking without stirring until the candy reaches 285 (soft-crack stage).  Remove from the heat and stir in the mint extract. Pour the candy out onto the splat mat or cookie sheet.  once it forms a skin use a heat proof spatula (covered in oil),to begin spreading the candy out and pushing it back together, working it across the sheet and allowing it to cool. As soon as the candy is cool enough to handle (but still quite hot), begin to pull it. Cover your hands in oil. To pull: take the candy in both hands and pull the hands in opposite directions, stretching the candy into a long rope. Bring the ends of the strands together and twist the candy into a rope, then pull the rope out into a long strand. Continue to twist and pull the candy until it has a satin-like finish and becomes pearly white.  Once the candy is still pliable but barely warm, pull it into a strand about the thickness you want your candy cane to be. Use oiled kitchen shears to cut them to approximately 8” lengths. Immediately form the hook at the top of the cane, and place it on a baking sheet to set at room temperature.  The candy canes will get very hard at room temperature, but if left out for long periods of time they will get soft and sticky, so be sure to wrap them in cellophane once they are set.

Friday, December 7

My first sweet potato pie!



I made this pie for my husband for our anniversary. He ate sweet potatoe pie all the time when he was in the army. I decided to surprise him and make it. He said that it was the best one he had ever eaten. He then had another slice, a big slice.

  1. Open can and pour out the liquid in the can with the sweet potato. Add sweet potato to bowl and break up.
  2. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, flour and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.


Monday, November 19

Giveaway: Green Giant Steamers

    My kids actually love veggtables but they can be picky about how they are served.  I am always looking for new (and quick) ways to serve vegetables.  Green Giant Steamers are a yummy and very quick way to add veggies to a meal.  In addition to the veggies I was also sent a lovely apron, bowl and serving spoon.  One of you can win the same items sent to me.

Win:
(1) VIP coupon for one free package of Green Giant Seasoned Steamers™
Apron
Green Giant Serving Spoon
Mixing Bowl
Bag of Green Giant Seasoned Steamers™

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The coupons, information, and gift packs have been provided by Green Giant® through MyBlogSpark.

Review: Raggedy Ann by Aurora

  I have been a huge fan of Raggedy Ann since I was little.  I had a bean bag Raggedy Ann and Andy until my puppy ate them.  I was so sad, my mom got me a new Raggedy Ann and this one was stuffed.  It looks very similar to the one pictured above.  My old one is lost somewhere in my Mother's garage.  When I was pregnant with my oldest my husband picked out a Raggedy Ann for our baby.  My youngest one always wanted one too but I could never find a Raggedy Ann she liked any where.  We were both so excited when Raggedy Ann arrived.  Princess G was just so happy that she had her very own Raggedy Ann.  She immediately started playing with her and that night she slept with her (and Hippo.)  Aurora carries a whole collection of Raggedy Ann and Andy
Raggedy Ann is just a classic so I was so happy to hear that they are now available.  They also have so cute Raggedy Ann purses but the full size doll is still my favorite.  If my mom could only find my missing boxes (they disappeared over 10 years ago when I went off to college) then we would all have our Raggedy Ann dolls to snuggle with.
Did you have a Raggedy Ann

I was provided the complimentary product by Aurora .  The opinion stated are my own.

Friday, November 2

Raking Leaves

The girls decided to help Daddy and started taking the leaves. Of course I am pretty sure they just want to make the pile so they can jump in it!

Thursday, November 1

Princess G Just Finished First Harry Potter

Princess G just finished reading the first Harry Potter novel. Of course I thought she was sleeping since her bedtime was over an hour ago.

Candy Fairy Left Giant Tinkerbells!

Last night the girls picked out 5 candies each and left the rest out for the Candy Fairy. She left them each a Tinkerbell.

Wednesday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

Costume contest first prize winners, in their age groups, holding their prizes!
Hope you are having a safe Halloween.

Sunday, October 28

Celebratory Pretzel After Nighttime Race

Princess G ran in her first timed race, in the dark and the rain. Princess A and G loved running the race with Daddy.

Tuesday, October 23

Secret of the Wings

Right after school we went straight to Target to pick up Secret of the Wings!

Friday, August 31

Their New $25 Glasses from JCPenny

Princess G in her first pair of glasses, we picked them up yesterday.  Princess G has been mentioning that things looked a little fuzzy so I wanted to have her eyes examined before school started. I did not really think she would need glasses. The Doctor said that she is just on the edge of needing glasses or not. They do make things clearer but her eyesight was good enough that she does not have to wear them. We left it up to Princess G if she wanted to get glasses or not. She said that she loves being able to see everything so much clearer and wanted to get them. We got a pair through our insurance and bought her a second pair from JCPenny. Her other glasses are still not in yet. 

 Princess A is wearing the new glasses we bought her earlier this month. 

Today is the last day for complete pair of glasses for only $25 at JCPenny. Even if your child already has glasses it is a great price for a back up pair of glasses. 

Thursday, August 30

Crayola Color Wonder Review



I remember when my niece and sister came to meet my new baby.  My niece was on my carpet coloring with markers.  I was a little worried as she was only three and I really did not want different colored carpet.  My sister told me not to worry because it was Crayola Wonder!  I had never heard of it before that day over nine years ago.  Crayola Color Wonder markers (and other mediums) only work on special paper.  If the child colors off the paper the color is just clear but on the paper it is in color.  Ever since then I have been a fan of Crayola Color Wonder.  When Princess A started finger painting I got her Crayola Color Wonder finger paints so I did not have to worry about her coloring her clothes.  My girls are older but we still love Crayola Color Wonder.  They are perfect for home and on the go.  This summer we took many trips by car.  I had no worries that my kids would accidentally color my car or even the white duvets inside our hotel rooms. 

I was sent a box of different Crayola products to try.  As soon as the box arrived (it was right before bedtime) they could not wait to try them out.  The products were perfect as the following day we left on a short 3 day trip.  Princess A liked the Barbie Color Wonder pages and Princess G really liked the Matchbox Cars color Wonder pages as they are metallic when colored.  They both loved the dry erase, they kept taking turns drawing different super heroes. 
We took many trips this summer and each time we took the Crayola Color Wonder products.  The girls colored them in the car, in our hotel rooms and when we were out to dinner!

The information, products and additional Crayola Summer Fun gift pack was provided by Crayola® through MyBlogSpark.

Thursday, August 23

Giveaway:THE OOGIELOVES BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE

Have you seen the Oogieloves yet?  They are just so cute! The three Oogieloves are: Goobie (lovable inventor), Zoobie (love languages and is the girls) and Toofie (the youngest and is fearless).  They also have Ruffy (slightly grumpy fish), J. Edgar (caring vacuum), Schluufy (loving pillow) and Windy (a crystal ball like window). 

Next Wednesday, August 29, the first family interactive movie will be released: The Ooogiloves Big Balloon Adventure!  This not movie that you just sit back and watch, you actually are encouraged to get up and sing and dance.  I have not seen this movie yet but it does sound like so much fun. The premise of the movie is that it is all the friends are organizing a secret birthday party for Schluufy (the fluffiest pillow) and lose five magical balloons.  They then have a series of adventures to recover the balloons and get back in time for the surprise party.

 I imagine that it would be a great first movie for a child since they would not have to sit still and be quiet, instead they get to wiggle and sing with permission. 

Giveaway
The Oogieloves prize pack includes a poster, Frisbee, beach ball, stickers and the glitter stencil tattoo kits. I have 6 prize packs to giveaway! Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was not compenstated for this posting and all opinions are my own.  The prize packs were provided on behalf of the movie.

Thursday, August 16

WindTunnel Air Review

My husband is the main vacuumer in our home and he really likes this vacuum. The vacuum is not too heavy or bulky but still does a great job cleaning. We also have Dyson DC33 and the WindTunnel Air cleans the carpets just as well. The WindTunnel Air has a slightly smaller width compared to our other vacuum therefore the surface area cleaned on each pass is a bit smaller. My husband did notice that he had to make an extra pass to clean an area but it is so much lighter he did not mind.
The WindTunnel Air does not have a vacuum bag to change so you just dump the stuff you vacuumed up in the garage. Sometimes some dust is released but that is true with any bag less vacuum.

I am the one who uses the vacuum attachments. I like the WindTunnel Air attachments. For jobs that don't need much reach you just use the hose attached to the regular vacuum surface area. If you need to reach even high, say the top of a ceiling fan or air vents on the ceiling there is an additional hose extension. Both were easy to attach and remove. I figured out how to use the attachments with out using the instruction manual, unlike the Dyson. I had to read the Dyson manual to figure out the attachments.

My only problem with the vacuum is that the back wheels which are used when rolling the vacuum to another room while it is off are very small. I notice that it has a tendency to rock back in forth like a bad rolling suitcase. The vacuum is so light that it is easy to just carry it.

I also like that you can choose different height for the vacuum handle. My kids like vacuuming so I can set it to the shortest length for them and then extend it out for my much taller husband.

All in all I would recommend this vacuum. It does a great job cleaning, it is not so big it takes up your whole closet and is light enough to easily carry up and down the stairs.



I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review, but my opinions are entirely my own.

Wednesday, August 8

Falls Along the Columbia Gorge

Along with visiting Vista house, we also drove to Multnomah Falls the day before. The girls are on the viewing bridge. We did not hike up to the top but the view was still beautiful.

Tuesday, August 7

Vista House near Portland.

Last week we went with my husband to Portland for business. I was so excited when we pulled up to the Vista House. I visited it when I was Princess A's age and have been trying to figure out where it was. I only knew it was in Oregon or Washington! Now I found it and was able to share it with my girls.

$25 Complete Glasses at JCPennys this Month

As long as you pick a frame $120 or less and don't add anything such as anti reflective, children's glasses are only $25 for August. We ordered this pair for Princess A.

Monday, July 23

Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Swirl Brownies (Recipe)

Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Swirl Brownies are just so yummy!  My kids have already eaten half of them. We love brownies and we love cheesecake so a combination of the two is too natural. I was sent a sample of Mocafe Matcha Green tea powder and asked to use it in a recipe. (I requested the sample via 5MinutesForMom.com, the samples are gone but you can find more reipces there.)  
My kids have been asking for cheesecake brownies so I thought I could take it to another level by adding the Mocafe Matcha Green Tea powder.  Sometimes as a special treat we go to Pho Tai Vietamese and buy the girls Green Tea or cantaloupe  Bubble Tea.  If you have never had bubble tea it is more like a Frappe with large tapioca pearls at the bottom of course the girls like it without the bubbles (tapioca). 



Ingredients:
Brownies:
Box of Brownies mix and the ingredients listed to make plain brownies.
Mine called for eggs, oil and water
(Note: I substituted milk for the water for extra flavor)

Cheesecake topping:
1/3 cup of white sugar
8 oz. of Cream Cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 Tablespoon Matcha Green Tea Powder

 Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F

Make brownies as instructed on the box.
Pour brownies into greased pan (9x13 in)



Mix the cream cheese and sugar together.  Add the egg and vanilla extract.  Mix until uniform.  Mix in the Matcha Green Tea Powder.
 
Add the cream cheese mixture to the brownies by the spoonful. Evenly distribute the cream cheese mixture over the surface of the brownie mix.  


 Once all of the cream cheese mixture is on top of the brownie mix swirl with a knife.  Hold the knife perpendicular to the pan and go back and forth in a grid pattern in one direction and then the other.
Bake the Brownies for about 1 hour. Let the Brownies coll, cut and then enjoy!