Tuesday, June 29

First Day of Summer Vacation

For the first day of summer vacation (about a week and a half ago) we decided to start off with a bang! We first went and bought a waffle iron for Father's Day and then I suggested a picnic at a park. We stopped at Subway and picked up a Chicken $5 Foot long, one is perfect for the three of us. I also brought along apple juice and fresh raspberries. After they were done eating I finished up while they played on the playground. When I was done they wanted to walk around the lake. They love going down to the edge and trying to skip rocks which in their case is just throwing pebbles and watching the ripples. We walked around the park but were sad to see that some construction is taking place right next to part of the pathway. By right next to I mean about two feet from the edge of the path. After we got past the noisy construction the path is much quieter and peaceful. After the walk they went right back to the playground. Princess G kept going down the slide and at the bottom she would do a ballet twirl and jump-off, too cute! Princess A made a new friend and they were on the teeter totter for quite a while. Princess G had a blast bouncing on this thing. It was a great start to summer vacation. So far we have found the right balance of stuff to do and time to do nothing. Today Princess G had a fever so we stayed home and watched lots of DVDs from the library.

Monday, June 28

Toy Story 3 Movie

Have you seen the new Toy Story movie? We have been counting down Toy Story 3's release and probably know all the words to the previews. The girls like to quote the Barbie and Ken exchange: "Nice leg warmers. Nice ascots!" Daddy took all three of his girls to Toy Story 3 last Monday! Princess G adores Jessie so I think she was the most excited, though all of us could hardly wait for the movie to start. Daddy also got popcorn and a lemonade, by the time it was passed down to me there was not a lot left,
I loved the movie and I did tear up for the ending. The ending was a little surprising to me but a perfect fit. I know that we will be buying the DVD when it finally comes out. We saw the regular movie not the 3D since Princess G and I feel uncomfortable wearing those special glasses, they just hurt our ears by the end of a movie.

Tree Top Review

My family has been enjoying Tree Top since I was a little girl. I never knew that Tree Top is a fruit-processing co-op owned by over 1,000 apple and pear growers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Tree Top is now celebration its 50th anniversary! As part of that celebration they want to encourage everyone to enjoy more apples. In our home we eat lots of apples, applesauce and apple juice. Princess A loves to have applesauce in her lunch and the Tree Top 4 oz cups are perfect, I just wish our local store carried the strawberry and raspberry flavors too. We always have a large jar of the Tree Top Natural Apple Sauce in the refrigerator. The girls call it Mommy apple sauce since I warm it up in the microwave and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. Sometimes I substitute butter or oil in a recipe with applesauce when I bake, it taste really good in banana bread or oatmeal cookies. We also drink apple juice and when having a tea party for their little friends who do not drink tea it is the perfect substitute in a tea pot (it is the perfect color for pretend tea) and I have never met a kid who did not like Tree Top apple juice. During the summer I also freeze apple juice in ice trays and use it when making smoothies, yummy!
Tree Top is also celebrating their 50th Anniversary with two contests. First is the "America’s Secret Ingredient” contest: share your apple-themed recipe for a chance to win a trip for 2 to the Big Apple, to Food Network’s NY Wine & Food Festival and to meet a Food Network celebrity. I would love to win, can you imagine the food that will be there! The second contest is an instant win you can enter every day through July 31st for your chance to win a $1,000 gift card! One gift card is given away each day! I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Tree Top and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, June 27

Summer: Great Time for Old Friends

Princess A has a great friend from pre-K but they have not played together since her birthday in August (we did see her for a few minutes in the Spring to give her Girl Scout cookies). Her friend lives about 20 minutes away and has a completely different and busy schedule. We have not been able to get all of the girls together in too long and she couldn't even make it to Princess A's tea party birthday in March. We finally got together this week. We met at a library for a pirate concert (it was really cute) and then we went home with them a visit. I just found out they also have a membership to the Pacific Science Center so we will have to plan a trip with them this summer and have them over many, many times.

Saturday, June 26

Best Day Ever!!

According to Princess A Thursday was the best day ever!
In the morning we went to the library for story telling and a craft. The girls also picked up many more books to add to our giant pile of library books, cds, audio books and DVDs. After the library we stopped at the grocery store and I picked up a few treats for them, raspberries (2 12oz packages), peaches, watermelon, honeydew, apples, grapes, more fruit, pinwheel cookies, cotton candy, Klondikes and Drumsticks. I know I did spoil them a little. After we got home we had lunch and then scrubbed their pool. The girls wanted to help so I put them to work. They scrubbed the pool really well, there were only a couple of spots I had to scrub myself. The girls of course wanted to try the Klondikes even though they were not quite sure they would like them. They loved them and quickly finished them off. We went inside and the girls watched a movie, a DVD of the ballet Copelia. We had dinner and soon they wanted to go outside and play in the pool and sprinklers again. While outside we heard the ice cream truck, at least it came before bedtime. Last week we heard the ice cream truck a few times but it was always after they had been put to bed though they were not awake since they came to tell me they heard the music. I purchased each of them their own snow cone. They both started to get a little cold so I carried the chair cushions into the sun on the lawn. As we were sitting their we noticed some small clouds forming and disappearing over and over again. We had lots of fun thinking of what the clouds looked like. Princess A announced at bed time that this was the best day ever in a long time! After the snow cones (I got to have the very end when they became too cold.) They soon headed inside for a bath to warm up a little. Soon it was bedtime. I read them lots of stories and it was off to bed. It really was a wonderful day, full of simple pleasures.

Friday, June 25

First Hot Day

Two weeks ago we had our first hot day (hot being in the 70s) and the girls finally got to play in the sprinkler. They were so excited to put on swimsuits and grabbed their beach towels (they fold up like a back pack.) I discovered that our sunscreen had expired so all I had was some with alcohol in it (Princess A's skin peels when exposed to alcohol, at least that is the ingredient found in most hand sanitizers I think causes it) and some SPF 15 samples. Since I used the SPF 15 I also had them wear sunglasses and hats. It really is so much fun the first time running through the sprinkler each year! Princess G squeezed into a size 2T suit but it really did seem to fit her. After running through the sprinkler for a while it was time to dry off.
After this so called hot day it became very chilly and rainy for a while. We finally had another warm day Wednesday and Thursday. I will have to share pictures soon as Princess A said it was the best day ever!

Wednesday, June 23

Wordless Wednesday: Ice Cream to Celebrate

Daddy had to be gone the last day of school, last Wednesday, so Monday we went out to celebrate the end of the school year. Princess A had her last Brownie meeting that night so instead of dinner we went out for ice cream.
They both ate much of them but Mommy got to help them finish as their eyes were bigger than their tummies!

Tuesday, June 22

Last Brownie Meetings of the School Year

The second to last meeting was all about friendship so each of the girls made a friendship bracelet. Since no one was able to finish they were sent home for the girls to finish and bring to the next meeting. I made some extras in case some of the girls forgot but they all remembered. They then placed the bracelets in a basket and each girl got one made by a Brownie friend. At the last meeting they also handed out prizes from the cookie sales and each girl received a girl Scout backpack with their names embroidered on it (they were bought with cookie money. After cake the girls went out to play together until parents came to pick them up.
Princess A was playing on the monkey bars and was so proud when she made it all the way across for the first time Princess A had a great year as a Brownie and can't wait to do it again. Princess G is going to a Daisy and I am going to be the troop leader. I have no idea what I am doing so wish me luck!!

Monday, June 21

Last Full Week of School

For the last full week of school everyday was a different dress-up theme. Wednesday was Flashback which means any previous decade. Of course we put if off to the last minute. Princess A really wanted to wear a poodle skirt but did not tell me until the morning of. Luckily I remember I had a small felt Scottie dog from some pajamas I received from Macy's (it was part of the package.) I quickly stitched the dog on and a long ribbon as the leash/collar. Not bad considering I did it that morning and only had a few minutes.
Princess A has also been begging to have a hot lunch at school but I have been putting it off since she does not enjoy the food most kids love, she can not stand corn dogs and mac and cheese for example. They were having hamburgers (it read a school BBQ but they were not grilled!) so she finally got a school lunch. As a treat I also bought Princess G one and as torture for myself as well. The fruit and cookie were great but the burger tasted almost as if they had boiled it (yuk!)

Sunday, June 20

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!!!
My darling husband just got back from a week long business trip yesterday afternoon so we are so happy he is home. We woke up early and had him open his gifts. The girls made him lots of stuff and we got him new headphones (he just bought some for himself while he was gone), a grill pan to cook small or thin items on the BBQ and a waffle iron. I made waffle batter the night before but I used a yeast recipe and it was much to yeasty!
Does anyone have a good waffle recipe?
We still enjoyed the waffles with whipped cream and fresh berries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries and ate way too much. Now we are just relaxing together while I marinate some salmon for dinner. We are going to try out the new grill pan or whatever you call it. It looks like a small three sided cookie sheet with small holes all over the bottom. I hope it works and that the rain holds off until after dinner. If it rains my back-up plan is to bake the salmon.

Saturday, June 19

Coppelia, a Wonderful Ballet in Seattle

The girls have been to the ballet a few times already. (Don't you love their matching outfits, they picked them out together.) When Princess G was 2 1/2 and Princess a was 5, they attended their first ballet, the Nutcracker. I was a little worried Princess G would not be able to sit through the ballet, but she lasted until the last 20 minutes. We spent about 5 minutes playing in the lobby and she was ready to go back in for the ending (we sat in the back when we returned so we would not disturb anyone.) This year the Pacific Northwest Ballet had a Nutcracker Photo contest. A picture of the girls was a runner-up (they are photo #8) so we won two tickets to Coppelia. Daddy purchased two more tickets and we all went to the Coppelia ballet. We went to a matinee showing on Saturday. Since it was a matinee they had extra activities before the ballet started for children. One activity included the telling of the Coppelia story. (They also had arts and crafts but we missed them.) A nice women told they story (which we did not know before we attended), showed pictures of the ballet, played some music from the ballet and one of the costumes to touch. The girls also got to participate by recreating parts of the ballet, such as the shaking of the wheat (if you hear it whisper you love is your true love), leaping and dancing like a wind-up doll. Above the girls are waiting in line to practise leaping.
Eventually we wandered upstairs to our seats. the girls brought their ballet dolls to watch the show. The pink doll Princess A is holding is Clara that Daddy bought at the Nutcracker ballet previously.
Coppelia was just fantastic! The costumes were gorgeous and the dancing was magical. It is a wonderful ballet to take children too as the story is fun for them and even has a little comedy (Princess G giggled a few times during the second act in the workshop.) The whole show was just yummy! I know yummy is a strange description but the costumes and the scenery were just so pretty and well yummy!
Te girls of course asked daddy if they could get something from the gift shop (we spent time in there during both intermissions.) Eventually Daddy said lets go see which meant that when they got to the gift shop he was probably going to get them something. They both decided on these little ballerinas. They are suppose to be tree decorations but we cut the string off and the girls are playing with them. Princess G has been re-enacting Coppelia with her doll, hers is named Coppelia. Princess A named hers Swanidla (a main character from the ballet.)
I am sure we will be attending more Ballets at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, we already have the date written down for when the Nutcracker goes on sale.
The girls have also been reading other ballet stories and we checked out a DVD of Coppelia (filmed in London) from the library to watch the ballet again.

Friday, June 18

Field Day at School

Last Friday was Field Day at Princess A's school. I volunteered to help so of course Princess G came with me.
As soon as Princess A found us she collected her sister and they went off to have some fun.

Princess A missed the bouncy house time for her class but they said she could go with the second graders. Princess A was hesitant to join them so I went with them and luckily we found some second graders that are in her Brownie troop so she was soon have a blast. Princess G had no qualms about going with second graders and quickly made friends with her sister's Brownie friends.
After staining her pants at the tug-a-war (I still have not gotten all of the mud out) Princess A decided to finally try the station I was working at: Flying Pigs! I had three hula hoops laying on the ground and you had to try and throw rubber pigs into the hoops. Princess A got a pig in on her first try! It was a very fun day even if it was cloudy and windy. Next year I am sure I will be there all day (I only helped in the afternoon this year) since Princess G will be in the am kindergarten and second graders have field day in the afternoon. In fact Princess G will get to go twice, in the morning with her class and the afternoon to help me when her sister is participating.

Thursday, June 17

Last Day of School Yesterday

Yes, it was raining and only in the 50s!
Princess A and her sister, on the last day of school, both wore fancy dresses and ribbon flower garlands in their hair. Princess A was so sad that it was the last day of school. She made her teacher lots of gifts for the last day, Toffee, a paper sculpture, another friendship bracelet (her teacher told her the day before that she lost the one from a few weeks ago), a photograph of the two of them and a notebook with a cover she drew herself.
School was let out before lunch so I took them out to eat to celebrate. Princess A picked the Ram since she said she wanted a burger (her first plan was Pho at a Thai restaurant.)

Last year Princess A was very sick and missed the end of school, to make her feel better we took them out to eat and Daddy let them pick a toy at Toys'R'us. Of course now they think one should get gifts for the end of school year. I did not want to disappoint them so here they are with their new YooHoo&Friends. Princess A also received Oreos (she asked for them), books and an embroidery kit. She has read all the books and finished her first embroidery project already. Well she finished the hula girl and now wants to add more embellishments.

Last night I also told them that they could stay stay up as late as they wanted. They also wanted a slumber party on the landing. Finally after 10 o'clock they wandered into my room asking if they could sleep in their own beds. Princess G then climbed into my bed and said she was to tired to sleep alone in her room. I said she could stay if she fell asleep in ten minutes and surprisingly she did!

Tuesday, June 15

Wordless Wednesday: Kool-aid Stand

Monday, June 14

Stacy’s® The Art of Summer Sweepstakes

I was sent two bags of yummy Stacy's Pita chips and they are delicious. As soon as the box arrived the girls wanted to open a bag and start snacking! The girls loved them plain and I liked them plain or with some hummus. We still have a little bit of the pita chips left but I know we will be buys some more this summer, the girls have already asked me.

Right now Stacy's is having the Stacy’s® The Art of Summer Sweepstakes. Here are the details:

  • · Share your favorite healthy summer Stacy’s® snack! Submissions will be accepted as a photo of the snack, a photo of you and/or friends enjoying your snack, a written description, or a written recipe.

    · Limit one entry per person and/or email address per day.

    · All entries need to be submitted on www.facebook.com/stacyspitachips

    · Stacy’s® The Art of Summer Sweepstakes runs from 12:00:00 p.m. Central Time on June 14 to 11:59:59 p.m. CT on June 23

    · One winner will receive a one-year supply of Stacy’s® coupons (52 coupons total) each good for one (1) 8-ounce bag of Stacy's snacks up to $3.99 each; and a prize basket.

    · Grand Prize Basket may include items such as, but not limited to: Candles, serving ware, plates, glasses, kabob set, picnic basket and/or a camcorder. Approximate Retail Value: $769.48.

The sweepstakes is not very long so start thinking of entries and head on over to their Facebook page and enter!

I received free product samples of Stacy's Pita Chips and my post is eligible for a gift card via random drawing by One2One Network.

Friday, June 11

Champions Summer Science Camps

As you can tell from Princess A winning third place in the district sciece fair we love science in our home. Princess A already has so many questions about how the world works and love trying to find the answers to her questions. One way to keep science fresh over the summer is a science camp.

Champions Summer Science Program has day and half day camps for kids 5 to 12 years old over the summer. The camps are held at participating recreation facilities, parks, and schools nationwide. They have many camps including, Mystery of the Pharaoh’s Treasure (solve an Egyptian mystery), Go Wild (investigate amazing wildlife and plants), Gizmo’s Robot Factory and Space and Rocketry. Each camps last one week and have half-day and full-day options. You can enroll your child online at http://www.scienceadventures.com/ .
I also have promotional code that can save $50 on a week of summer camp: “summerscience10” You can also watch a short video about some of the cool things your kids might learn at Champions Summer Science Camp (Princess G loved the hippos).

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Champion Summer Science Camp. Mom Central also sent me a thank-you gift certificate.

Wednesday, June 9

Wordless Wednesday: Lunch and then Recess at School

Tuesday, June 8

Bing Teacher Appreciation

Did you have a great teacher when you were in school that was simply wonderful? Does your child have a teacher that makes learning fun? Let them know!! Bing wants you to share your appreciation for a great teacher with the world and that teacher. Go here and you can leave a comment about how or why this teacher is so great. Bing will later send the comments to the school where they teach so the teacher will know how you feel about them. Bing will also send you a code to for a $5 donation on DonorsChoose.org. You can receive up to a limit of 5 codes (one code per comment) for up to $25 to donate to any project you like on DonorsChoose.org. DonorsChoose.org is where teachers can request funds for classroom projects of their choice. The classroom projects are created by teachers so you should let you children's’ teachers know about it so they submit their own projects! You can also read through projects other teachers have posted and pick one or more than one that you want to support. You can look for project based on location (state, county, or city), subject (for example: math, science, music, arts, or sports), by keyword or simply by which ones are most urgent. I love knitting and the Knitting for Life Long Learning really caught my eye. Which project speaks to you?

Princess A has had two very wonderful teachers. Last year Mrs P was so sweet and just what Princess A needed. Princess A loved going to school and was so sad when summer came since she would not see her at school everyday. (The picture above is the last day of school and she was so sick we only stopped by for a few minutes to say goodbye and drop off gifts.) We kept in touch and we have gotten together a few times (the zoo and a tea party.) We have our fingers crossed that Princess G will have her for kindergarten since Princess G already adores her.
This year we were blessed again with another wonderful teacher Mrs. T. Princess A adores her and almost did not want to go to Disneyland if she was going to miss school. A student teacher was teaching that week so Princess A said it was alright if she missed school that week. Mrs. T knows just how to help Princess A do her best at school and how to make it so much fun. Princess A can't wait for summer but has already asked it we can see her teacher over the summer.
Tomorrow, after school, Princess A and I are going to leave a comment for each of her teachers on the Bing Teacher Appreciation. I hope you will leave comments for your own or your children's teachers so they will know that the hard work they do is appreciated!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Bing and a $100 DonoseChoose.org giving code to facilitate my review. Mom Central also sent me a thank-you gift certificate.

Monday, June 7

Celebrating Mom at School

Princess A's whole class did a presentation to celebrate Moms.
Each student in her class read a poem they wrote about their mom. They also paired up and did a short skit about spring, Princess A was wonderful!
(Tomorrow they are celebrating dads which reminded me I forgot to post about this last month.)

Of course Princess G came and they decided to both dress up in matching pink, fancy dresses.
I joined in and wore a dress for the occasion too!

Sunday, June 6

Making a Bracelet for her Teacher

Princess A wanted to make something for her teacher everyday during Teacher Appreciation Week. One morning she realized she did not make anything the day before. My two princesses worked together while I was doing their hair to make this bracelet.

Saturday, June 5

Homemade Mud Pie Recipe

I decided to try and make a mud pie or at least my version of a mud pie. I used a pre-made chocolate crust. I added a layer of french vanilla ice cream and then a layer of mocha almond fudge ice cream (I whipped each in my mixer to make it easier to place in the crust and smooth out.)

I made fresh whipped cream with a little powdered sugar added for sweetness.

I drizzled chocolate syrup and some chocolate cookie crumbs.

I was so yummy! I think next time I will try coffee and mocha almond fudge ice cream.

Thursday, June 3

Kindergarten Meet and Greet

My baby will be starting kindergarten in the fall!!
The school she will be attending held a meet and greet at the school.

Princess A also came, which was nice since I sort of missed hers (I wrote down the wrong month on the calendar.) The teachers and principal went over expectations, read a story and the kids rode on a school bus. Princess G already knows the school really well, she knows the principal by name and gives him hugs so I think she will be fine. Her favorite part was the bus ride. she now wants me to get a bus to drive because "You don't have to wear seat belts!!"
After all of the kids got back we had cookies and it was over. It was fun and I think I found my co-leader for Princess G's Daisy troop for next Fall.

Wednesday, June 2

Halls Cough Drops for Allergies

I do not suffer seasonal allergies normally but on occasion something triggers mild allergies for a few hours. My darling husband on the other hand has horrible allergies. The first Spring when we were dating he had a horrible allergy attack. Since then (with my gentle reminders) he takes allergy pills everyday during his allergy season. Sometimes he forgets to take his medicine but that usually only happens once a year since he is simply miserable. I have used cough drops in the past for coughs and sore throats but it never occurred to me to use them to treat allergy symptoms. What a great idea! I have not had the occasion to use the Halls for allergy symptoms but with my sore throat last week they worked great. I am keeping the Halls on hand for the day my husband forgets his allergy medicine. I know the day will come and he will be relived to have something to ease his symptoms while he waits for his allergy medicine to start working.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Halls and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, June 1

Wordless Wednesday: Painting Outside

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