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Friday, July 27, 2012

5 for Friday ~ Summer Service Ideas

The new school year for us starts in just a week.  Ack!
It got me thinking - what is there that we didn't do this summer...that we still could!
There are boatloads of Summer Bucket Lists out there, but here is
a twist on traditional summertime fun with your kids - how about
including things that you can do together, to serve others?
I tracked down five links for this week's Gimme Five for Friday.

1) Oh the Service That Can Be Done
@ My Mix of Six
This is what gave me the idea for this week's Gimme Five!
I reallllly love how Shauna at My Mix of Six creatively made
Summertime activity lists for her family including service ideas.  Such 
a great idea to organize it this way!  I tracked down the download link
 for her lists, but unfortunately it's not active.  If I hear back from her on this, 
I'll post the printable list on the facebook page.

2) Summer Service List
@ The Pleated Poppy
Since I couldn't access the printable list above, I went on a hunt for more
Summer Service ideas.  Love the simplicity of Lindsey's list for her family.

3) Summer of Service Guest Post Series
Then I discovered a whole summer service SERIES! 
Check out all the great ideas by the guest posters at Somewhat Simple.

4) Secret Service Missions
I'm head over heels for the creativity and fun presentation of this one -
it's sure to get kids motivated to do things for others!
The "Mission Possible" printable is absolutely FAB!

5) Keep Calm and Cool 
& Thanks for All You Do
Here's another one with free printables - simply buy some Gatorade or bottled
water, tie on the tag, and deliver to workers who are out in the heat all day!

Sharing @
Gimme Five For Friday

Don't forget to see Tiffany's Fun Jar Friday post this week -

Fun Jar Friday #14: Water Beads +4 more Fun Jar Activities

Today on Fun Jar Friday

Water Beads
+4 more Fun Jar Activities

Water beads are nothing new to me.  But honestly, I thought my kids would get bored of them quickly. How wrong I was!  We played with water beads ALL DAY LONG!

You can find water beads at your craft store or in the craft section of Walmart.  Usually near the flowers since they are often used as vase decorations for your cut flowers.  You can buy a one color pack for about $2 or a three color pack for about $4.  Not bad for a day of fun.  And they are reusable!

When you get them, they are tiny little plastic beads, no bigger than the head of a pin.  You place them in water and they grow grow grow!  
collage showing bowls of colored water beads
They are made of polymer plastic that soaks up water. It's the same stuff that diapers are made of and they are non-toxic.  The package says to soak them for about 4-6 hours, but ours were ready in about 2.  The longer they soak, the bigger they get and the easier they are to break. Also, as they soak they start to lose their color.  If you soak them long enough, they become completely clear.  I suggest  tossing a few in a separate glass of water just to get them clear, because there are some fun things you can do with clear ones!  But they are great on a hot summer day because they stay wet and cool!

On a side note, I am attempting to potty train my 3 year old for the 100th time, 
so he's in his skivvies in these pics.

As they grew, my kids couldn't wait to get their hands in the bowl.  They loved how 
placing things like spoons and their hands made the object appear to glow.
kids feeling water beads with their hands
Once the beads were big enough, the boys started sorting them into different cups of water.  Once in the water, they appeared to dissolve and soon the water appeared to be just a cup of colored water.  But really it was full of water beads!
collage showing three jars of colored water beads
After we had separated colors, I brought out my light box I used back in the day when I used to study animation.  If you don't have a light box, you can use a piece of glass from a picture frame over a lamp to get the same effect.  We covered the entire box with beads. The effect was very cool.  Then my son had the idea to make pictures out of the beads.  We tried simply moving the beads around but they were too slippery.  I got out some cookie cutters instead and we filled them with colored beads.  When the box was all full, I removed the cookie cutters very slowly.  We were happy with the results.   You don't really need a light box to make water bead art.  A cookie sheet will work just fine!  It just won't have the glowing light bright look!
collage showing colored water beads on a light box, making shapes with cookie cutters.
At this point, "He Who Will Not Be Potty Trained" peed all 
over the floor.  So we breaked for snack.

After a delightful snack, I brought out the clear water beads that I had soaked over night.  The cool part about clear water beads is that if you put them in a glass of water, the literally disappear!  It's impossible to see them! Makes for an awesome magic trick. My kids made a game out of putting one in a cup 
and trying to find it with a spoon.  More difficult than it looks!
search and find sensory activity with water beads
We also found that if you hold up a clear water bead, you can trap 
anything in your crystal ball!  Seriously, what kid wouldn't think that was cool?
hold a single water bead and watch the reflections through it

Then we took our water beads outside.  Because water beads are a polymer, they can bounce! A lot!  We took it one step farther and put some on the trampoline.  This gave us some serious water bead bounces.  Note: By doing this, you beads will explode into dust, so I don't suggest dumping the whole bowl on the tramp!
collage showing child jumping on trampoline with water beads bouncing around the feet
Then I got out the kiddie pool and tossed a few beads in the water.  I set the hose in the water so the beads would move around.  Then I told the kids to try to catch them.  They are so slippery, slimy, they are hard to grasp!  After that I put our clear beads in and they disappeared in to the pool. The kids had to find them using feel only!

Then Mr. "I don't care if their pee down my leg" peed all over 
everything again so we took another break for lunch.  

After lunch we did our final activity.  We made water bead night lights.  Super easy.  We just filled my favorite little mason jars with water beads. They could mix them or layer them, whatever.  When the beads got close to the top, place an upside down LED light in it.  Keep it exposed at the top so you can flip it on or off.  Then put the mason jar lid on.  They look cool in the day time, and at night!
collage showing how to make your own nightlights with mason jars and water beads
When you are done playing with your water beads,
 you can put them aside to dehydrate.  
In a couple of days, they will be back to their teeny tiny selves.  
If you want to speed up the process, place them out in the sun.  
Then when you want to play again, just put them back in the water!

If you are interested in more water bead ideas 
here's a bunch more I found at the Chocolate Muffin Tree!

water beads photo with text - fun ways to play with water beads

Now for some bonus Fun Jar Activities!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Currently {v.7}

This week on CURRENTLY
Enjoying, Learning, Inspired by, Becoming & Indulging in

Currently Enjoying... here it is again - Instagram.  If you follow Craft, Interrupted on facebook, you may know that I've mentioned it several times lately.  Can't help it.  It's been my happy place!  I'm installing more and more photo apps on my new phone, and linking up to Instagram blog parties to make  Insta-friends!  
You can find me here.

Currently Learning... a little more about blog design and html, as I work with Tiffany to update Craft, Interrupted.  Overhall coming!

Currently Inspired By... This story of Rachel's Gift.  Read/see here @ charity: water

Currently Becoming... a frazzled, overwhelmed momma.  This week's B Side:  We've had a very stressful few weeks with my oldest regressing, and consequently having to increase med dose.  The younger two are constantly at each other's throats.  The house, laundry, dishes are behind.  One more week of Summer Break - then we'll be forced to get rollin'.  It will help.

Currently Indulging in... Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub.  I have the Almond & Honey and it smells lovely. They have many more - Vanilla Spice is one I'd like to try, too.  I found this at walmart in the fall, and liked it so much that I was back for more when my first jar ran out.  It's affordable, lasts a long time, and works great on legs after a shave.  Psst - I'm saving my jars to try out some homemade sugar scrub recipes. These containers are the perfect size, with the wide mouth, and plastic is good in case it drops in the shower.

Sharing @
Harvesting Kale

Friday, July 20, 2012

5 for Friday ~ DIY Cleaning

This week on Gimme Five for Friday
Homemade cleaners & refills
Here are links to five tutorials for make-your-own cleaning supplies:
inexpensive cleaner recipes & reusable wipes, dusters & mop pads!

1) DIY Reusable Swiffer Wet Jet Pads
This is a great tutorial for making quick and easy reusable swiffer pads!
No fancy measuring or making side pockets - just follow the tutorial's
simple fold & cut, then a few passes through the sewing machine with velcro
and you are ready to clean your floors!  You can get two reusable pads
out of one padded cloth diaper with this tutorial.  A 10-pack of the cloth
diapers for under $15 will give you 20 swiffer pads that you can wash
in your machine and use over and over again.

2) DIY Washable Swiffer Duster Refills
@ The Peaceful Mom
You can use fleece or packs of microfiber towels from the auto aisle.
A simple tutorial will get you stocked up in no time - 
or get a 2-pack for $9 here on etsy.

3) DIY Tub & Shower Magic Cleaner
Rave reviews for this easy and inexpensive shower cleaner recipe!
Tips from the comments:  If it's too sudsy, use a little less Dawn in the mix
or sprinkle the suds with a pinch of salt and they will disappear.
Other dish soaps don't work as well to bust the shower/tile scum.

4) DIY Reusable Disinfecting Wipes
I think this pop-top tupperware method is brilliant!
Use old baby washcloths or cut up ratty t-shirts.  Pour the mixture over
them, then grab and wipe as needed.  Clean in the washing machine and use again!

5) DIY Homemade Fabric Softener
I've tried a few homemade laundry detergent recipes, but not fabric softener.
I love how easy and cheap this recipe is, and seems like it would smell really
good with different scented conditioners!  Suave makes lots of fragrant ones for cheap.

Sharing @ Krafty Kat's
Krafty Kat
Gimme Five for Friday is on break this week,
but I'm still posting it here on Craft, Interrupted anyway : )

Fun Jar Friday #13: Summer Superhero Scavenger Hunt +4 More Fun Jar Activities

This Week On Fun Jar Friday 

Summer Superhero Scavenger Hunt!
+4 More Fun Jar Activities
Last summer, I came across a superhero scavenger hunt on 
I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar and got super excited about it.  So, you should know, 
this is not all my idea, I just expanded on her already awesome idea!  So, let me 
walk you through it, one clue at a time.  And let me tell ya, if you have boys 
running around your house, this will be a HUGE hit!

First, the villains.  Can you believe these are the only super villains 
I could find in my house of boys?  Lame!  Oh well, you get what you get, right?  
So, the first clue reads "Ha Ha!  We have taken your precious super 
heroes and now they are all "washed up!"

We did some looking around the house at sinks and bathtubs 
and the normal "washing" areas but we quickly remembered the mega washer.  
The "kid car wash"
Uh oh!  These guys are in trouble!  I purposely made it so that the kids 
would have to go in the sprinkler to cut the heroes lose.  I'm mean like that!

I put all the rest of the clues in plastic ziplock bags (because water is involved) and included them in the activity.  The next clue was hanging from the string as well.  It read, "You may have found these guys but you'll "never see" where the next ones are before we "swing" into action!

The kids hung out around the playset for awhile before 
they checked out our outdoor lounging swing.
I filled a bucket full of sponge balls and super soaker balls along with the super heroes.  The kids had to search blindfolded through the soakers to find the superheroes.  Incidentally, If you are interested in making sponge balls, follow Jaimee's instructions and use the dollar store sponges. They are so much better.  I made them last year. I had to use these sponges because my dollar store was all out of them. I'm pretty sure my town must have been reading craft, interrupted because I know they weren't sold out because of their cleaning abilities.  

I just used some left over fabric as blindfolds.  
My little guy peaked, but don't tell the older one!

The next clue, which was in the bucket, read "Ah! You think you are winning 
but our plan is "growing!"  Hurry before they  make a splat!"  
It didn't take long at all to figure out that it was in the garden!
See the Squinkee super heroes floating around in the water balloons?  
I don't have any good advice on how to get them in there.  I do suggest using 
a water balloon nozzle on your hose.  But I tried putting the squinkees in first and then 
filling them and I tried filling the balloon a bit and then putting the squinkees in.  Either 
way you are going to get wet.  But there is only one way to save these super heroes!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Currently {v.6}

This week on CURRENTLY 
cooking, making, working on, reading & listening to
Currently cooking... I marinated some chicken in Italian dressing and soy sauce and grilled it.  Yum!  I'm looking forward to a big ol' Caesar Salad w/ Grilled Chicken tomorrow.  This one looks tasty.  Hubs is travelling for work this week (again) so it's mainly been PB & J's and pancakes.

Currently making... Pajama Pal Kitty Cats for a custom By Craft, Interrupted etsy order.  I have previously made Monkeys, Frogs, Ninjas, Owls and DinoMonsters, but had a special request for cats.  I love redesigning patterns to make new things!  I'm doubling the order, so that I will have two to list in the shop as well.

Currently working on... this week's B-Side: getting a sensory toolbox together for my oldest.  We keep talking to him about "using the tools" that we've learned in our therapies, to help him regulate and/or calm himself.  He thought it would be helpful to have an ACTUAL toolbox.  What's that?  An opportunity for a project??  I'm on it!  We have a plastic tool box with his name and "Sensory Tools" on the front in stickers.  Inside are a variety of things he can use to calm down and get some sensory input...a squeeze ball, a stretch exercise band, chew topper on a pencil, gum, a journal to write down his feelings/worries, a ring of laminated photos that he chose as peaceful photos to look at, a textured/light-up ball, a sensory brush, a fat marker & large nuts and bolts for hand exercises (the latest Occupational Therapy homework), his current Listening Therapy chip...and our favorite - a little wooden box of toy animals that serves both as fidgets and as cues for animal walk exercises that give him good heavy work for his system.  We call it The Box of Walks (bunny hop, frog jump, seal, bear walk, crab walk...) I also have a set of magnetic Bucky Balls (his fave from the psycghologist's office) and a textured Tangle coming in the mail soon that we can add to his toolbox.  I'm also going to mod podge two small wood cubes as dice he can roll with more exercise choices on them.  HOPEFULLY the novelty of this won't wear off in a few weeks and it will be something we can add to or swap items out of.  So far, so good *fingers crossed*
a plastic tool box filled with sensory integration tools and items to help regulate and calm
group of sensory fidgets to use as cues for heavy work exercises

Currently reading... book 3 of Sara Donati's Wilderness Series.  If you are an Outlander fan, you should check it out.  It's a hefty, six-book-long historical fiction series.  I'm diggin' it.

Currently listening to... The Civil Wars.  Sooo mello, haunting and lovely.

Sharing @
Harvesting Kale

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spinach Tortellini Salad

Here's a favorite for summertime, and it's easy to make!
collage showing ingredients and finished salad
You need:
cheese tortellini, cooked and cooled
1 bag of fresh spinach leaves
fresh tomatoes, diced
bacon pieces
ranch dressing

Boil the tortellini as directed, then drain and cool.
Spread in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.

Step one is to layer cooked tortellini on bottom

Spread your clean, raw spinach leaves on top.
Baby spinach leaves work great, because they are bite-sized ; )

Dice up your fresh tomatoes and sprinkle on top of the greens.
I used little ones that a friend had grown in her garden.
Use as many or as few as you like!

Add spinach leaves and diced tomatoes on top of pasta

Now here's what makes this a winner -
bacon pieces!  Make your own or buy the bits in the
salad dressing aisle.  I used about half a bag.

Add bacon bits

That's it!  Easy, right?
And it looks so fresh and lovely on a summer picnic spread.
Serve it with ranch dressing and it's deLISH!
We used yogurt dressing which cut the fat significantly and was just as good.

serve with ranch dressing

Hubs and I had this for dinner one night, and for lunch a few days after.

Sharing @

Keeping It SimpleMakingThe Southern InstituteTip Junkie handmade projectsThe DIY Dreamer
Tuesday To Do PartyGettin Krafty With It


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