Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Village...

No not the M. Night movie, that everyone in the world hated but me. I loved it. I even bought it on DVD... I love an underdog romance. But I digress... Today we spent the day playing in the sandbox and weeding the backyard to reorganize, revitalize it. Pregnancy and baby taking care of is hard work and unfortunately my poor urban homestead is suffering. Er, was suffering. It now doing a lot better well the survivors are.

My Girl started to get bored of playing in the sand. We got the idea to build a village for her little toys. Each one of us went around the yard and gathered up anything we could to build this village.

It was so much fun. Figuring out what could be buildings, who lived where, where the stream went, who got cars, where the park was, and if we were done or not. Let me take you on a tour of The Village:

Welcome to Grow! The Home of Dora, ceramic turtle, lion, donkey, gnome, and elephant. Also the location of the famous ladybug building!

This is the village center. It has a "very fancy" bridge that link Dora (who lives with ceramic turtle) with the famous ladybug building. The gnome guards them both. To the right you'll see donkey eating a waffle in his house.

Donkey's house is the entrance to the town where the flag is being flown and the name of the town is posted!

Across the street from Donkey's house is Lion's (he has a wonderfully fast car). And next to his house is the park and lizard's house, who doesn't like the slide by the way.

This is My Girl's house.

The Ladybug building is located next to the duckpond. Where the 5 ducks of varying size share a drop of a pond with runs off to the center of town and forms a stream. I hoped you enjoyed your tour. I know I enjoyed mine!

It took a couple hours to build it and it was amazing to play with afterward. We still need to build a fairy house in town. But as it stands it my may heart warm to hear how creative My Girl was. We also put some golden coins and a treasure map in the sandbox and that rekindled that interest. We are having a wonderful time reworking the backyard to create a urban homestead that is more child friendly than it was.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bloggles (Playdough)

I try my hardest to limit television for My Girl. Some days are better than others. Put a blob of play dough down in front of her and BAM! You just bought yourself at least 2 hours to get housework done, pay bills, write a blog, Skype with your friend in Spain, and you know any activity.

We started to go through playdoh fast, or "bloggles" as My Girl calls it (no clue why). I was tired of making trips to the store to get more playdoh. Yeah, they are only like a dollar a can but they get gross so quickly and dry out and crumble. Unless I stood over My Girl and put a stop to most of the fun involved in playdoh just to make it last. Then what's the point. So I mixed up a couple batches of Kool-aid Playdoh.

Kool-aid playdoh is great. Its easy to make, plus the kiddos can help make it, and its smells yummy. Its a nice thing to mix up with the kid too.

Kool-Aid Play Dough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 package of Kool-Aid
1 cup hot water
Combine ingredients and mix.

There's a few more recipes on this site like Gingerbread playdough, peanut butter playdough, sand playdough and a few more equally as interesting. But I love the kool-aid playdough!

Don't forget to throw some spoons, cookie cutters, butter knives, and a rolling pin down for increased playdough fun-age! Or perhaps a playdough play set.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sandcastles in the sand

 For My Girl's 3rd birthday, we promised her a sandbox. Her birthday came and went... no sandbox. We got the sand. Sand is cheap as ever! We just couldn't decide which one to buy. Definitely the lowest price we could find and it needed a cover. That was easy to find... the popular plastic turtle or crab. But I really hate to put something all man made and plastic in my organic garden/urban homestead. I definitely wanted something natural. So finally, we decided to build a sandbox ourselves from re-purposed materials.

With my best friend back from Spain and over for a visit, it seemed like a great time to get this project underway! We grabbed some large pieces of wood that used to hold up an old, old camper that we finally were able to give to someone else, and the some of the wood we bought last winter. Made a small rectangle with them and filled it with sand. It was a wonderful activity for everyone to do together and  My Girl has the satisfaction of having build a sandbox for herself!

My Girl: "We pulled the corn and made me a sand..."
Mama: "Yes, we did. We made a sandbox for you."
My Girl: "I'm gonna built a castle, this is my castle."

Now she refers to the sandbox as her "castle". She steals all my friends when they come over to visit and made K-dawg play in the sandbox with her for a couple hours. Then when she took a nap, we buried gemstones, golden doubloons, and some shiny beads from a broken necklace in the sandbox.

She started digging and was so excited to find treasures. She also attacked the dirt with K-dawg and got down right dirty. That was a change for a girl who has to wash her hands whenever she touches anything that is slightly dirty. It was a fun project with amazing results!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Roasted Chickpeas


Like a year ago or 2roasted chickpeas made their chic way around blogs. Lets bring them back. These things are amazing and a great source of fiber. I made them for dried chickpeas. My whole family munched them down. They make a great snack and travel very well. The only thing to remember is that these are beans even though they seem like corn nuts or something. Enjoy!

  • 1 (12 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt (optional)
  • garlic salt (optional)
  • cayenne pepper (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning. 
This recipe is by

Monday, October 10, 2011

Katydid... in my eggplant

Some days  you go through and do things you love but treat them as chores. Its unfortunate, but we get caught up in our schedules and rushed. We forget to take a breath and enjoy what we are doing now. I was watering my gardening, when I saw a Katydid, a leaf grasshopper!

I feel so fortunate to have seen this beauty and that he was still there when I got my camera. I snapped a ton of pictures because I wanted Jorg and My Girl to see it too. It was like I discovered a treasure! A marvel. I scooped it up into a mason jar and showed it to them when they got home.

They came home like 10 minutes later and marveled at it with me. Then we released him back to the eggplants. I never even knew a bug like this existed and almost didn't see it. Then the next day, when My Guy's Godmother was visiting, she just got back from living in Spain., he was still there and she got to see him too. I kinda feel lucky to have seen it and been able to share him with others.
 Here's some info on them:
  "True Katydids are relatives of grasshoppers and crickets. They grow over two inches long and are leaf-green in color. Katydids have oval-shaped wings with lots of veins. They resemble leaves. True Katydids live in forests, thickets, or fields with lots of shrubs or trees.
    Katydids spend most of their time at the tops of trees where most of the leaves are. Usually katydids are heard, but not seen. Unlike grasshoppers and crickets, both male and female katydids make sounds. They rub their forewings (front wings) together to "sing" to each other. Katydid hear each other with ears on their front legs. Breeding season is in late Summer and early Fall. Females will lay eggs on stems. Eggs will hatch the following Spring into nymphs. Nymphs are young katydids not fully grown. Katydid nymphs eat and grow, molting their skin several times. Each time the nymph sheds its skin it looks more like an adult. Finally, after its last molt, the nymph has changed into an adult katydid.     True Katydids eat leaves of most deciduous (lose leaves in Fall) trees and shrubs, especially oaks. Katydids can fly short distances when threatened, but they prefer to walk and climb. When they do fly, it is more of a downward flutter. If a katydid lands on the ground, it will walk to the nearest tree and climb. Predators of True Katydids include birds, bats, spiders, frogs, snakes, and other insect-eaters."
That information is thanks to True Katydid

Take some time and enjoy the little things!