7.31.2012

Do-it-yourself Zebra Nails!

Well this week we are learning and enjoying all things ZOO!  I thought of a way I could spend some quality time with my girlies and cute ourselves up for our upcoming visit to the zoo :)

We decided to try out our very own Do-it-yourself Zebra Nails!



These were so fun!  The girls loved them, and I was surprised at how easy they were too.  Yes, I know..they are not perfect.  But that is the beauty of zebra stripes...they can be totally random and imperfect...just my style! ;)

First up, let your little ones pick out their base coat color.  Kendall chose a purpley-pink and Skylar went with turquoise.  I did two coats of each color and then made sure they were COMPLETELY dry.




After our base coat was dry I grabbed a few toothpicks and our black polish.  Dip your toothpick in your black polish and wipe off the excess.  Then I would just drag it halfway across the nail, making each line thinner as it reached the middle of the nail.

 

It did take a little bit of practice and few do-overs before I got the look we were going for...but once I got it figured out it went really quickly.



The girls had so much fun doing these, and are actually upstairs right now admiring them and talking about how pretty they are ;)




I have a feeling it won't be much longer before they are requesting their toes be done too! :)

Thanks for stopping by today, and come back for lots more WILD zoo activities this week!!

7.30.2012

My Half-Marathon Attempt...Take Two!

Hello, hello!

We had a crazy week last week...and this was how I ended it, running my 2nd half-marathon.

I had SUCH an amazing time!  The course was stunning, running down American Fork Canyon, through a golf course, and finally past the Mt. Timpanogos Temple.  It was cool and breezy, I had awesome music pumping through my headphones and surprisingly...I felt STRONG.

I say surprisingly because I literally had done one long run since my last half...3 months ago!  Even though I didn't really train, I shaved 8 minutes off my time and set a new personal best.  I am still slow...but as long as I am progressing with each race I am happy :)

 
I am so happy I did another race...after my last one I was content to have crossed it off my bucket list and never do one again ;)  I never thought I would say it...but I actually had fun running :)  And NOTHING beats that feeling of accomplishment when you see your little family at the finish line cheering you on, knowing you pushed yourself farther than you thought you could.


So that's what I was doing last week :)

Now that my race has passed, I feel like I can focus on some projects I have been wanting to do before school starts.  Make sure you keep coming back to see all the fun we are going to have...and THANK YOU so much for visiting Blue Skies Ahead!!

7.25.2012

Gooey Caramel Popcorn!

Hey everyone!  Before I get to this AMAZING recipe I wanted to let you in on something real quick.  

Remember how I said to stay tuned for lots of fun Pioneer/Cowboy activities?

Yeah....not gonna be happening this week :)

See, I know a lot of bloggers have already-written posts saved ahead of time that they can post at will...but I sure don't!  When I post something we have literally done it that day or the day before.  I felt for me that was the only way to keep my blog as genuine as possible.  I didn't want to post things we hadn't really done or tried.  I think when blogging it can be hard to "keep it real", you only see what the blogger wants you to see.  I wanted to be sure I only post things we are ACTUALLY doing in our home, and I don't want to come across as someone better than who I really am ;)

This week has just turned out to be CRAZY busy, and the point of these weekly themes is to ENJOY your kids and have fun with them...not add one more stress to your life :)  So although we don't have time for the activities I had planned, we always have time for a yummy treat!  I did want to share this amazing popcorn recipe from my sister-in-law Camille.

Oh yeah....its GOOEY.


Doesn't that look amazing?!

And you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now!  I mean...I'm sure I'm not the only one that has a 6-month supply of marshmallows, brown sugar and microwave popcorn, right?!  (I seriously do...its a problem.)
 

Here is the recipe for this Gooey Caramel Popcorn!

1 bag popped microwave popcorn
2 sticks butter
1 C brown sugar
21 marshmallows
1 tsp baking soda

First up, you want to pop your popcorn.  I try and make sure I get all the un-popped kernels out so you don't have to fear taking a big bite and breaking a tooth :)



Then you toss your butter (I only use 1 1/2 sticks...2 seems a little much!), marshmallows and brown sugar in a microwavable bowl.  Microwave for one minute and then take out and stir.  Repeat until all the ingredients are melted.  It usually takes me 4 minutes all together.



When its all melted add 1 tsp of baking soda.  It should get really creamy and turn this beautiful brown color.



Once you have your caramel sauce ready, drench your popcorn in that gooey goodness, stir it all up, and get ready to get sticky :)



This is our families FAVORITE go-to for movie nights, sitting on the porch watching fireworks, and the drive-in.  I hope you and your family love it too!


Thanks for coming by today and thanks for letting me keep it real...I hope you are all having a FANTASTIC week!! 

Linking up HERE :)

7.23.2012

Just in case you missed them...

 Here are a few ideas you may want to use this week if you are getting ready to watch the 2012 Summer Olympics!!!  We are so excited!

Click HERE to find out how to make your own Olympic Ring Snacks



And HERE to make your very own Olympic Torch!



Also, if you are celebrating the 24th of July tomorrow and want a fun FHE to get your kids excited...check out this post HERE

We will back later with some fun Pioneer/Cowboy activities for your kids...its gonna be a fun week!  Hope you all had a fantastic weekend, and THANK YOU so much for stopping by!

7.19.2012

Field Trip Thursday...Aquarium Scavenger Hunt

 
Today we had a great field trip to our local Aquarium.  One thing I like to do to make these trips a little more fun, is to occasionally make a Scavenger Hunt for my kids to do while we are there.  It just adds an extra element of fun, especially if its somewhere you have been before!

I made this printable really quickly before we left this morning and it was a HIT!  I stuck a few copies in page protectors and clipped them on a clipboard.  Using dry erase markers the kids either circled the animal when we saw it or my older girls would spell out the names of the animals.  The kids would get so excited every time we saw an animal from our list, it really added to the excitement! ;)

Feel free to click on the picture to print out your own! ;)

Here are just a few pics from Instagram...what did I do before Instagram?! 

Kendall's favorite, the sea turtles!



I love jelly fish!  They are almost hypnotic to watch, such amazing creatures.


EVERY time we go to the aquarium the kids number one task is to Find Nemo :)  Delighted screams were heard all around when they spotted the little guy today ;)



Britton's favorite...the sharks!


And these crazy animals?  These ones are my favorite :)

Thanks for visiting today...I hope you liked something that you saw and you come back soon! :)

Octo-Pops!

 Hello everyone!

Ocean Week rolls on at our house this week with another fun snack.  I promise...I will have an activity or two...but the snacks are just so fun! ;)

I found the inspiration for these yummies again at Preschool Express...make sure you check it out!  These are perfect for a hot summer day.  I give you...

Octo-Pops!!


These are about as simple as it gets.  Fill some small paper cups with juice until 3/4 of the way full.  Then place 8 gummy worms in each cup so half  of each worm is hanging out over the side.  Then I covered each cup in tin foil and stuck in a popsicle stick ALMOST to the bottom.


The hardest part of this treat is making your kids wait while they freeze! :)

Once they were frozen, my kids absolutely loved them!


Hope you enjoyed our Octo-Pops today...let me know if you try these out!  Thanks so much for stopping by and check back later for Field Trip Thursday and a fun jellyfish craft too :)

Linking up HERE :)

7.18.2012

Do YOU love Washi Tape?!

I don't know about you...but I LOVE Washi Tape! It is the quickest way I know to cute things up, from cards to vases to anything you want!


Today Pick Your Plum is offering an AMAZING deal on adorable Washi Tape...but you have to get it quick!  Once they are sold out its GONE.  I already ordered a pack of each...oh the crafting possibilities :)

If you have never visited Pick Your Plum...check it out!  Every day they post a new deal for crafty supplies...some of the cutest stuff around, and you can't beat the price.

Now I need some inspiration...what are some of your favorite ways to use Washi Tape?!!


7.17.2012

Utah Blogger Meet-Up!

 Last week I had the FANTASTIC opportunity to attend a local-blogger get-together with some wonderful ladies!

Gotta be honest here...I was SUPER intimidated and pretty much just hoped to walk away from the night not feeling like a total goober :)  I know in the world of blogging I am a small fish in a big pond...but I was thrilled to meet some really fantastic women that are doing wonderful things on their respective blogs.

How cute are these two?!  Lindsay from Southern Lovely and Becca from Gardners 2 Bergers put this whole event together.  They were so genuine and sweet, thanks for the wonderful night ladies!


And these were the fun ladies I got to spend the evening with.  It was so great to meet bloggers from all different niches...whether it be cooking, home decorating, DIY or lifestyle.  I love being around creative people...it can't help but rub off on you a little bit :)


Amanda * Elisabeth * Ruthie * Aimee * Me * Debra * Lindsay * Marissa * Erin * Becca * Beth *Mary

Not only did we have a great night of wonderful conversation and good food...but some amazing sponsors totally spoiled us with some great swag :)


Ginger from GingerSnap Crafts gave us these fantastic chalkboard labels...OH the possibilities!!

Cut It Out gave 2 lucky winners an awesome package of frames...JEALOUS ;)

What was that?  Would I like a gift card to MyVinyl Direct?  Why yes...yes I would!!
Seriously, they have just about any color you could ever want.

The night kept getting better...my favorite local store gave us a gift card as well...THANK YOU SexyModest Boutique.  I just happened to be sporting a tank, necklace and my favorite mint cardi  from SexyModest that same night :)  To say I enjoy that store would definitely be an understatement.


 And finally these delicious Cake Bites were provided from Sweet Tooth Fairy.  They were only the best Cake Bites I have ever had.  I had the one with the green drizzle...mint.  And the one with the yellow drizzle...lemon.  And the one with the....okay, just kidding.  I had to stop myself at 2 ;)


Thank you Becca and Linsay for such a lovely night.  I was happy to be introduced to so many amazing bloggers and get to know the women behind some of my favorite blogs!

7.16.2012

Jonah and the Whale Family Home Evening

 
Today for FHE we focused on something that my little family could use some work on...the principle of obedience.  To help learn about that principle we taught the kids the story of Jonah and the Whale.

I made the printable above to hang up in our kitchen all week long so we can ask ourselves..."WHALE" you choose to be obedient?  

He he...I thought that was so clever ;)  My husband just thinks I'm a dork :)

This FHE did take some prep work, but you could definitely do without some of this stuff.  I knew I would use it later in the week for our ocean life theme so I didn't mind putting in a little more effort than usual ;)

First up, I got a few clothes pins and painted them different colors.  Then I printed out pics of my kids and glued their heads onto the clothes pins :)  My kids really got a kick out of these...I think we will be using these a lot more in the future!


I thought it would be fun to make a whale that we could play with and act out the story of Jonah with.  I originally thought of making one using a paper bag, but wanted something I could cut a mouth in.  Thanks to the wonderful world wide web I found a great idea in THIS blog.  I made a few changes to work with what I had, but I overall I think our whale turned out just great!

I just used an empty milk jug and cut a mouth out of the bottom.  Then I stuffed white tissue paper in the top to make the tail and turned him on his side.  I spray-painted the entire thing blue and once it was dry poked a hole in the top and used more white tissue paper to simulate the water spouting out of the blowhole :)  2 eyes later we had our very own Wally the Whale (that's what the kids named him :)


To get started we read the story of Jonah from our Old Testament Stories Book.  If you don't have these books...don't worry!!  You can go online and watch the stories with the illustrations and everything!  You can get the story of Jonah HERE

After we read the story of Jonah we talked about obedience and if Jonah was obedient.  Then we talked about WHY obedience is important and who we should obey.  The kids had a lot of fun taking out little Jonah and putting him in the whale as we read, and then taking him back out and clipping him onto the "dry land" after he repented and obeyed Heavenly Father



Then we did a little activity for the kids.  We let each child take turns going and picking up their clothes pin.  Then we would describe a situation, and if the child had obeyed in that situation they could be clipped on the basket, but if not...into the whale they went!


I always love using real-life situations to help my children understand a principle on their level.  It seems to stick with them longer, and give them a point of reference that we can draw on when the need arises.


Overall it was a quick, but good family home evening!  I love teaching my children from the scriptures and helping them see how they really ARE applicable in our lives.  I love the scriptures and am grateful for the chance I have to bear witness to my children of their truthfulness.

Thank you so much for checking out Blue Skies Ahead!  There have been so many kind comments about our FHE's lately, and I really really appreciate them!  Thank you and have a great day!


Gone Fishing Snack

 Happy Monday to everyone!!

I hope you all had a great weekend, ours was pretty laid back and boring, but that was actually nice for a change ;)

Here at our house we are learning all about Ocean Life this week, and I found a really cute snack idea at one of my favorite sites Preschool Express.  I love how they have their activities grouped by theme, I always go there for some inspiration :)

All you need for this fun snack/activity is peanut butter, pretzel sticks, and goldfish crackers.




I laid out all our goldfish on a big piece of blue paper to simulate the ocean. 

Then it was time to grab a fishing pole 


Dip your fishing pole into the cup of bait


And then go fishing!!


Kendall really enjoyed her catch of the day! ;)

This was a yummy, fun snack time that all the kids enjoyed.  My kids always think its pretty cool if they get to play with their food.  It is also great for working on that tricky hand-eye coordination with your young ones.  

Thanks for stopping by Blue Skies Ahead today!  We have some fun things lined up for the rest of the week, so don't be a stranger! ;)