Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Sewing Space

Pink Chalk Fabrics blog is having a Where I Sew Month, and I thought, why not? You can see my unconventional space. Maybe you'll get some ideas, or give me some!

Once upon a time, I had an actual room with a door to sew in, but then we were blessed with a wonderful grandson (who lives with us) and I gave up my sewing room for him to have his own space. Now I sew in what you might call the front parlor. Just inside the front door to our home. It has very large door ways that lead thru to the dining room, and when I am working on a big project, I close off the access to the dining room with the design walls. The lighting is not the greatest, but I make do, and I get a lot done in here.

This giant table on the right is an old architect's desk. Technically it is an engineer's former desk, given to me by my boss when everything went electronic. I had been dreaming of an elevated surface to cut fabrics on without straining my neck, and can you believe he gave me this for free? I looked these up on Ebay and almost fainted. 1/3 of the top is butcher block - which my Janome sits on - and there are 2 huge drawers underneath. I am lucky to have it.

The gray floor mat under the chair? From Sam's Club. Super comfortable to stand on for hours. Easy to move around when you need to. I highly recommend these. We even used them for wall to wall flooring in Tyler's room. Believe me, Nana and Papa have a much easier time playing on the floor with Tyler now that these foam pads are installed!

You can see the design walls and my current project, the Great Granny Along, closing off access to the dining room. There is a great tutorial there  for this super easy and rewarding quilt along. Join in!

These design walls are easy and inexpensive to make. Insulating foam boards from your local home improvement store, spray on adhesive and some very inexpensive diaper flannel. And they weigh only ounces, so you can move them all around easily. 

There are 4 sets of white cubicle cubbies that hold my quilting magazine collection, patterns, fabrics, notebooks, printouts and some WIPs and UFOs as well. I have a homemade bulletin board behind my sewing machine for inspirations and plans and tips.

I'd like to tell you that this is all of my stash, but who are we kidding? This picture was taken over a year ago, so yes, this set of cubbies is overflowing. Packed to the gills. And not this neat. The rest of my stash still takes up one of the 2 closets in Tyler's room, 6 totes and several boxes that are crammed here and there and everywhere. Tyler recently asked me why my fabric lives in his closet? He didn't understand that his room was something else before he was here, but he accepted the explanation anyway.

If you are sewing at your dining room table, which I have done before, make it your special space. Even if it is only for an hour or two. And have fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July already

Summer time.

This is what we've seen almost every day since mid June. Good thing Florida soil is all sand, or we'd be boating everywhere. We had over 14 inches in one day, and 7,000 lightning strikes in less than 2 hours this past Monday.  A lot of Downtown Pensacola has flooded more than once. Florida ain't for sissies.

We have kept busy with crafts, reading the Magic Treehouse series, swimming on sunny days, and many other things so no complaints. Tyler has learned to swim with no floaties and with his face in the pool. In one day! His goal: to get a pair of flippers to wear in the pool to play scuba diver. He got over his fear of water in the ears and is even learning to swim to the bottom to retrieve toys. So proud. Our little fish.

  • A friend directed me to another blog where the secret to clean grout was revealed. This may be very boring to some, but if you've lived with impossible, dirty grout for years and wanted to dynamite the floors out of frustration, you'll know what I feel when I say the grout looks NEW!

Before and After. See what I mean?

Its a miracle. Ammonia, vinegar, baking soda and water. Who knew?

Amazing Grout Cleaner Recipe: 7 c water, 1/2 c baking soda, 1/3 c ammonia, 1/4 c vinegar. Spray on, scrub, wipe off.  To be honest, I upped the amounts of everything but the water. I found that letting it sit for a few minutes meant no scrubbing. Just the scrubby part of my floor mop and it was clean! This discovery came after a day of major scrubbing and extra baking soda and lots of wiping up the pasty mess. Forget that! Up the ingredients and let them do the work!

  • We haven't got much out of our pallet garden because of all the rain, but we did get one Lemon Boy tomato, one yellow squash and one cucumber. 
  • We've planted 3 kinds of pumpkins out in the yard. 
  • We added a Slip N Slide to our collection of water play toys. Tyler bought it with his own money.

the proud gardener
the pumpkin patch

the slip n slider

Tula and Friends quilt

You know how your fabrics can be calling you? My bundle of Parisville from Tula Pink, and several modern cuts I started collecting were talking to me. Demanding I make something with them. I love how this turned out. The pattern is called Rectangle Squared from the Film in the Fridge blog. That link will take you to her tutorial. Super easy. Lots of solid needed, and you have to figure it out based on what size quilt you're making, but this is very, very easy to put together.

What are you doing with your Summer? I hope whatever it is you are loving it!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

and June is almost over

It seems like much longer since my last post. Really. I thought it had been more than a month. Close but not quite that long.

We went from dry mild weather to torrential rains (Father's Day weekend?) and now we are waiting to see what Tropical Storm Debby will do. She's just sitting there so far. Dumping rain in some places, and not a drop here yet.

I have been a busy sewist. More pajama pants for Tyler and more quilts for me. This is the one I am currently at work on . I got the tutorial from Film in the Fridge's blog. I was dying to make a modern quilt, and the fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink's Parisville was screaming for attention. When I saw the tutorial at FIF, I had to make it. And I love it! So easy, and so eye-catching!  It is called "Rectangle Squared" on her blog.

Because I have tons of stash and scraps, I have mixed in some Liberty of London, Kaffe Fassett, Just Wing It!, another Tula Pink print, and a few Art Gallery prints too. Even though the sashing is only 1 1/2" wide, I estimate that I'll be using over 3 yards of it before this top is pieced together! (There are no defined fabric amounts listed because you could make this as big as you have a mind to.) Mine will be a large lap size.

And I'm cutting the remaining pieces of the fat quarter bundle into Dresden Plate pieces. Jumbo size! Don't you love it when you get 2 quilts out of one great fabric group?

We took Tyler to his first baseball game. Our minor league Blue Wahoos. VERY hot weather. I much prefer hockey after sweltering there, but what can you do? The boy is a fanatic about baseball. He kept saying "Its my turn! They need me. I want to be the bender-down guy!" He did not know the term Catcher. Ha!

Tyler and I have played in the sprinklers, had a movie date to see Madagascar 3, gone to the pool dozens of times and pretty much enjoyed every minute of the end of Spring. The beach has not been a place to go lately because of strong surf, but we'll hopefully get back there soon. I love our beaches. And you can't boogey board in a pool.

One of these days we are going to make it downtown to visit the new Childrens' Museum and the MESS Hall for Kids (Math, Engineering, Science and Stuff.) How great does that sound? Afterward a trip to that splash pad to cool off. 3 year olds are great. They are up for any adventure, any time.

Whatever you have planned for Summer, make it fun! And stay cool!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Weekend Update

Hello, friends. It has been a while since I shared, hasn't it? Summer is already here and we are busy busy busy. I've been outside so much with Tyler that I have the full summer tan going and it is not yet June.

I'm going to cram a lot in here because we've done a lot and taken a fair amount of pictures too.

We've had unseasonably dry weather. Really hot and very dry. So weird! It is like being in So Cal in August!

Tyler is still very much into pirate play. He's so excited that there will be a Pirate Festival the second weekend of June! He is hooked on having the drawn on mustache and goatee. He'll draw it on himself if he can't get help!

Now that we are reading the Magic Treehouse series of books, he is starting to pretend to be a Ninja. He puts his foam sword down the back of his shirt and runs around the house pointing his golf clubs like guns.

We went back to De Luna Plaza yesterday and the fountains are working. What a great way for kids to get wet and it is free. The breeze coming off the water is a plus for the parents standing around. And now that Tyler's ears are healed up from the tube removal surgery we are all about swimming.

I got him his first boogie board. Who knew that when he got dunked by a wave, he'd pop up shouting "THAT WAS AWESOME!" And we saw a sea turtle close up, and a pod of dolphins going by. The weather and wave conditions have been so absolutely perfect for beach going.

We planted a little garden. A pallet garden. I got the idea from the Homesteading / Survivalism  facebook page. He is so proud. So am I. We can manage this size garden and learn a lot of science stuff while we provide some good vegetables for the table!

Other things we've done this month:

  • rescued a baby bird that fell out of tree. He ran off though, so we are wishing him the best of luck. 
  • Tyler picked out hockey gear fabric on our last trip to the fabric store, so after I cut the pattern out, he helped sew them together! First time at the sewing machine. 
  • shopped at a local thrift store and scored a kiddie army helmet for $.99
  • made up a lot of stories in the dark, which Tyler calls "the stories in your forehead"
  • gone swimming in great-gramma's community pool almost every day
  • played in our blow up pool a few times, mostly with squirt guns
  • sprouted a little herb garden in the kitchen window
  • cut up magazines for letter learning and scissors and glue practice.
  • sung "Tonight We Are Young" about a hundred times together. He loves the chorus 
  • discovered that the fuzzy baseball Easter basket is a pretty good marching band drummer's hat
  • we took Tyler to the local dinner-and-a-movie venue called the Silver Screen to see "the Avengers" -and now he is hooked on them too!  And he can't wait to go to that theater again. Candy, popcorn, hot dogs and you can sit around a table? Awesome! A lot cheaper than the big theaters? Double awesome for us!
Here's a little photo montage to sum up our month. 

Tomorrow we are going to a local U-Pick Blueberry farm to see how much we can haul home and freeze. We have a single tree, but Tyler eats them as fast as I take them off the tree. It will be a group outing and hopefully not too hot if we go early. Anyone have freezing or canning tips on blueberries?

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! If you see someone in military uniform, or a veteran of a past war, please thank them for their service to our country. And their sacrifice. We are free because they protect and defend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Is it May already?

First of all, BLOG MAKEOVER!!! What do you think? Aqua, such a great almost-Summer color.

No, I did not make a Schnibble in April. I did not even get Bibelot finished. I think the Another Year of Schnibbles is not going to happen again (for me) this year.I have quilty stuff in the works but sewing time is harder and harder to find.

In other news, we've been having a blast, Tyler and me. Science and books and music and art on rainy days, followed by puddle splashing when the rain lets up. And because we love adventure and water, we are already enjoying the long season of fun in the sun and all kinds of water!

Last weekend we headed downtown to De Luna Plaza on Palafox Pier to see what the sidewalk fountains would be like. Tyler was due to get the tube out of his right ear on Monday, so last chance to risk water near that ear for a while. Unfortunately the fountains never came on. About a dozen other moms and their kids were hanging around waiting, but there was standing water to be kicked up and other kids to play with, so Tyler ended up soaked and happy after all. And it was such a gorgeous, cloudless, warm day, who could complain?

Here is the explorer, De Luna, who was looking for Mobile Bay, but somehow is attributed to Pensacola. Like most Spanish explorers, he seemed to have a lot of trouble with the weather and finding food and getting lost. Florida ain't for sissies. If you lived here before air conditioning was invented, I think you must have gone crazy. De Luna was "delirious with fever" at one point, but I think it was just our fine summer weather.

Not to deter any tourists, let me just say it is HOT here and humid. From May til October. If you visit, be prepared.

Back to my story. There is a traditional fountain full of water also on the pier. Tyler asked where all the money went that was in it last time we looked. Maybe they're going to use it to fix the sidewalk fountains?

You want to just jump right in these fountains come July!

I don't know if you can see it too well, but just behind the yacht on the left side of this picture is a peek at our brand new baseball stadium! The Blue Wahoos are our minor league team and this is their first season here. You can catch a game while looking out at Pensacola Bay.

The next day we went to the beach, which is really never disappointing here. White sands, emerald waters. Water temps already in the 70s. This is the beach on NAS Pensacola. It is so nice.

Are you jealous yet? There is nothing like it without a passport. Or so I hear.

Here's another beach pic, just to make you really want to come on down South. Opal Beach. Just east of Pensacola's main beach. Very private. Very quiet. And look how far out the shallows go! I love wading far out and not being too deep.

If you are wondering: the ear surgery went pretty well. Hopefully the hole in the drum heals quickly and well so we can commence swimming lessons and really have some fun!

This Saturday is time again for Home Depot Kids Clinic. I'm sure it will be a Mother's Day project. Are you going? It is free, it is crafty and it is the priceless time together that makes it a great morning out. Maybe followed by pancakes somewhere? And then more beach time, of course! With ear plugs.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Play Foods

It all started with Tyler pretending to cook in the bathtub. It makes me think of Kramer cooking in the shower on Seinfeld! 

Tyler wants to be a chef someday - his phrasing - and so we would pretend to make some kind of soup in his various bath toys while he took a bath. Sometimes we'd pretend to plant a garden first, to have our own vegetables. You should always try to include a little learning in every game, right?

Eventually he wanted to make pizza in his bathtub kitchen. I helped out by bringing a few spring-form pan bottoms to the tub for pizza pans. We talked about how real pizza restaurants toss the dough in the air to stretch it out before they add toppings. His bath toy storage fish became the oven.

As you can imagine, we ended up with imaginary phone calls for pizza orders and Tyler wanting to play restaurant all the time. Here he is at our first out-of-tub kitchen set up.

Now we play in the bedroom, and a drawer under his bed is the new oven. He takes orders by phone and drives them to delivery spots all over town. (We also pretend to drive around town for Tyler's Woodworking Business. That Black and Decker workbench gets a lot of use now that people want their pool chairs fixed in time for Summer!)

I realized that we needed some food props for our cooking play time. Not wanting to invest in a bunch of store bought play foods, I thought of Sunday school felt play stories and thought "Hey, I have felt from crafting, and I can make that into lots of things." I've had a lot of fun cutting out the shapes. There are 12" tan pizza crusts, 11" red pizza sauce circles, and assorted toppings. Even calamari.

The play cash register he got for his birthday makes running his pizza shop (and other business ventures) even more fun and educational, although it will be a while til we reach the making change level of math!

Tyler's kitchen supplies include empty juice and milk containers, ketchup and mustard bottles, assorted utensils, some stainless steel bowls, tupperware and oven mitts. He got a wooden food set for his birthday: a clearance set I scored on at JCP! You don't have to spend a lot to have a kid's kitchen up and running!

The top of the toy box now serves as a cooking stove. The floor is the pizza prep area. An inexpensive pencil case holds the felt food items when we're not using them. I think other food items are not far off in our future.

We have made and colored several menus and he has a small notebook to take your order. I think yarn for spaghetti will be next. We can get a little practice with his scissors while making that.

Until next time!

New Flooring

With allergies, sometimes you have to do things without knowing how you'll finish it. Like tearing out carpeting when you have no money for new flooring. This is what we did this week in Tyler's room. My daughter and I tore up all the carpet, the padding, the tack strips and got down to the cement floor. No more dust mite ridden (and stained) carpeting, but cement is not a kind surface for a three year old boy who likes to flop down on his knees or fall and pretend to be dead after a sword fight.

What would we do? I considered the cheapest possibility: linoleum. That meant fumes from glue and trying to wrestle a big sheet of it, cutting around corners etc. Not what I want to deal with right now. I knew there had to be an easier answer. And there was!

Util-A-Mat Commercial Grade Reversible Floor Mats, 8 - 24" x 24" TiilesThese foam floor tiles from Sam's Club are interlocking and they are for safety/anti-fatigue. Cushiony underfoot. No glue or anything. And they are 2 feet square! I could have put the primary color sides up, but went with the dark grey side instead. I used an acrylic quilting ruler and a box knife and was able to cut around the closet and walls to fit these easily. Less than $22 a pack and it took only 4 packs to cover all the floor space including closets. What a deal, right?

Tyler likes them so much, he wanted to sleep on the floor that first night. Ha!

Two of the sides on these tiles are straight edged, but you can pull off a narrow strip to reveal the interlocking shapes. This left me with a pile of narrow strips that were puzzle pieced down one side. I was wondering how I'd store them without them getting torn up or bent, but Tyler knew just what to do with them! He started fitting those long strips into pairs and hammering them into place with his Black and Decker kids hammer. He said he was making swords. He thought of this all on his own!   I am impressed.

A little work the past few weeks with jigsaw puzzles and he has a whole new hobby! These are the Melissa and Doug wooden puzzles in a box. Dinosaurs. We put them together over and over. Then we talk about what kind of dinosaur is in the picture and what they eat. Mostly he is telling me, thanks to the show "Dino Dan" on Nick Jr.

So now we have a safe, cushy, hypo-allergenic floor for his room. I hope this gives some of you an idea of what to do in your play room or kids room!

Fun Stuff Fridays

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

We had a very busy day yesterday. Everyone in town seemed to be having Easter Egg Hunts, and it was also Kids' Clinic Day at Home Depot again.

Funny story: I took a few minutes to run into Home Depot the other day for a new shower head. I was alone, which is so rare. After nap time, Tyler noticed that the old shower head was missing and asked why. I said "Nana bought a new shower head today," and he burst into tears! He said "you went to Home Depot without me!!!"  I laughed because he knew which store without me saying and it was such a child/man response. I comforted him with the promise that he'd be at Home Depot this Saturday making a bird feeder and we would give it to his great, great grandmother for Easter.

Here he is with his newest creation. Honestly, this project was way too hard for his age. I had to do all the nail hammering. You are putting several layers of wood together and it is just not possible for a 3 year old to hammer that hard. But he liked decorating it!

Did you make it to a Kids Clinic in your area yesterday?

Before Kids Clinic we went to the Easter Egg Hunt put on at our favorite new park. Many (or all, I'm not sure) of the churches in Beulah got together to provide carnival type games and food and balloons, etc. All Bible based and there was a huge turn out.

He had a blast. He even got his face painted. He wanted to be the Easter Bunny. I was impressed that this girl, who is probably 10?, did the painting. Not bad either.

After bowling for candy, reaching in a big fish mouth for money, and trying the bean bag toss twice, we did the toddler egg hunt, got a balloon from the Easter Bunny and it was time to head off to Home Depot.  I had boiled eggs before we left so we could decorate after nap time.

This is the method we used for dying our eggs. It was a lot of fun, especially since we started off by searching the yard for tiny leaves to use on our eggs. 

You cut some nylons into 6 inch pieces, place a leaf on the egg, slide it carefully into the nylon section, pull the ends of the nylon around to the back and rubber band it tightly. You use warm water, white vinegar and food coloring drops to make the dye. We counted the drops, so math and chemistry were part of the fun too! Then let them soak about 5 minutes, carefully unwrap, and you have a leaf motif on the front and a star pattern on the back where the tie was!

This was so easy and so much fun for us, I think we might want to do this any time we need hard boiled eggs!

If you don't already subscribe to Family Fun, I highly recommend it. I started getting the mags when my kids were little. There are many great craft memories because of this Disney publication! I'm not getting compensated in any way for telling you this either.

You can subscribe digitally, or get the magazine in the mail, but they'll also send the digital version too.

I have to include my all time favorite Easter cartoon.

Happy Easter everyone! Make some memories today! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dress Up Storage and the Schnibble that Almost Was...

This is the project I've had in mind for a few months. Now it is reality! Tyler is so pleased, he immediately started moving all his costumes and hats in and he wanted it kept in the living room so he can play with it daily. (There really is not much more room in HIS room, so now it is in the public domain.) That is a closet sized dowel for hanging outfits on. Plenty of room for the knight outfit, chef outfit, firefighter and others that I am behind on making, right?

I owe all the construction and painting credit to my husband and to Tom, future stepson-in-law and the stepdaughter, Van, too. Great job people! This Storage unit cost about $30 without the wheels. I already had the quart of paint.

Have you ever built anything from Ana White's blog or website? She has such good directions and even tells you what the cost should be. You could build your own Pottery Barn type furniture, if that is your style! If I get a granddaughter some day I will be putting this in the works for sure. The cutest play kitchen!

We had previously built Tyler a very sturdy bookcase for his room, and it is so nice, I decided to go with the wardrobe on wheels and we painted it the same gray as the bookcase. I have not decided if I will stencil something on the side yet. Ideas? Probably his name at some point.

Its been rainy and polleny here for weeks. Not good outdoor weather for us, although I sure wish it was, cause soon enough it will be VERY hot and humid. If you have no allergies, you should get down on your knees and thank God every day. Anyway, we have been doing more play time with paints and pirate sword fighting etc, so it is still fun! 

How's this for fun? Mama drew the goatee and big curly mustache on with the washable markers. I had been drawing him a mustache with black eyeliner. Yes, that is a black eye at the edge of his left eye. Poor kid is full throttle all the time, and not always looking where he's headed. 

In other news, I got a very late start on the March Schnibble pattern, Bibelot. Like, it arrived on the 26th and I got all the blocks finished on April 1, after the Parade of Schnibbles deadline. Oh well. It will get done soon. Will I order the next pattern in time for April's deadline? Only time will tell with my crazy life right now!

 I used a charm pack of Modern Workshop prints. I know I should have ordered 2. I thought I could wing it with my leftover Spirit charm squares, but there is not quite enough for the border pieces. I'll have to cut into the few Modern Workshop fat quarters I have or improvise. Also, this will be narrower than Carrie's pattern because it was too wide for the back of my door, and that is where it is going. Afternoon sun is blinding without a nice quilt over the windows.

Did you make it into the Schnibbles Parade? Or at least get Bibelot finished? A month seems like so much time at the beginning, and not so much when it is half over and your project is still in your head, doesn't it?

This weekend is Easter. It should be the start of a busy week with family coming to visit here. I wish you all a Happy Easter and hope you'll leave me a comment about any of my topics!

Fun Stuff Fridays

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Windows to Genius Quilt and Other Stuff

Here is the big boy bed quilt Tyler received for his birthday last week! I just love the colors. He just loves the colors. And the animals, and the stripes. So happy that he's proud of the quilt and wanted to be in the picture too!

I had seen this pattern in the April 2007 issue of Quilt magazine. I said to myself back then, "If only I can have a grandson some day, I want to make this quilt for him." And I did!

The walls of his room are True Turquoise (Glidden paint color) and the quilt looks yummy with them. Someone's favorite colors are yellow and orange, so no wonder this is a hit, right?

I threw some solids and semi-solids in with the original Animal Party (Amy Schimler/Robert Kaufman) prints. I had hoarded those lovely fat quarters since they came out, because, Hello? I wanted a grandson!

Do you ever buy fabric and save it because some day you'll have the perfect use for it? A gift maybe? It feels good to put it to use.

I'd like to thank my friend, Nancy Troyer, for doing such a lovely job quilting it with large swirls all over. It perfectly complements all the angular piecing. The back and binding are a very deep turquoise, in case you are curious.

My next project is a coordinating pillow case from the remaining yardage and scraps. I'm thinking a pieced border. How cute will that be???  Please note that my "next project" list is pretty long and the pile up is starting to be an embarrassment. help!

Other news: Barnes and Noble Story Time is such a huge deal! So much fun, it is free and includes craft time and cookie and other kids to interact with! And because it is at 11am, guess who gets to have a lunch date after? Me! Books galore and lunch with my favorite 3 year old. Heaven! We have been thrifty and gotten pizza slices at Sam's Club next door to B and N. Who knew Tyler would be a people watcher like me? He is a hoot! He makes everyone around us smile and comment on his amazing vocabulary and sense of humor. He went up to the food counter and asked them if they toss their pizza dough in the air before they cook it! The look on the girl's face was priceless.

Birthday Gift Favorite: I found this violin (at JC Penney of all places) after Christmas - it ended up being like $5 with coupons and discounts. My mom gave it to him. Tyler about cried he was so happy. He shouted "A violin! I always wanted one!" and he played it for TWO HOURS. This is a 3 year old with the normal 10-15 minute attention span. It is awesome to behold. He said he is like the kids on Little Einsteins, and he plays it off and on every day. He bows after every performance. I melt. We are all so proud!

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

Other favorite toys he got: packs of playing cards - Old Maid, Go Fish, Crazy Eights. A soccer ball and cowboy outfit. A cash register for playing restaurant and store. Small knights on horseback with weapons to go with the castle his pediatrician gave him. The new, replacement golf set. The old one has been completely destroyed due to Hallway Hockey being a rough sport for plastic clubs. Also, the bathtub pirate set is not going to be boring any time soon.

Will someone please tell me how you can possibly love anyone so much as a first grandchild? Who knew it could be so wonderful and rewarding every day? I am so very lucky and blessed and thankful. Yes I am!

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for stopping by. My blog reading counter has tripped over the 10,000 mark! Woo hoo!

Until next time, enjoy every day, and love the little ones in your life especially. YOU can make all the difference.
Fun Stuff Fridays

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Fun

Last week we discovered 2 things. A new, close by park called Beulah Regional Park. The reasons we like it so much are: it is wide open with walking/riding paths, 2 fenced in dog parks, there are 2 big sets of play equipment, it is quiet, next door is the Equestrian Center so horses and riders pass outside the fence, the playgrounds are visited by lots of kids and parents (but not too many at once) and the equipment is plastic and metal. NO CARPENTER BEES!!!

If you don't live with carpenter bees, count your blessings. They are annoying and sometimes aggressive. People say "leave them alone and they'll leave you alone," but when they are hovering over the slides at the wood constructed parks, what do you do? You leave. Those bees are not small. See that hole it makes? You can stick a pencil in there. Because our house was built with cedar siding, we are plagued by these pests every Spring. And we have the badminton racquets to prove it.

Call me a sissy if you want, but bees freak me out. They are creepy and I hate the buzz. God bless them for pollination, but stay away from me, and mine, thank you!

Anyway, we are in love with Beulah Regional Park. This is where Tyler will perfect bike pedaling, and learn to roller skate. It is where he'll make friends who can come over to play, and we will watch as he grows too big for the equipment they have and moves on to full time sports for recreation. And I will get some serious walking done too.

Our other discovery this week? Barnes and Noble. Yes, Pensacola actually has a big, name brand store, can you believe it? (We don't have IKEA or Crate and Barrel or Macy's but we have B and N!) Up until last weekend we stuck to Books a Million for the spontaneous book shopping sprees. I told myself Barnes and Noble was too busy and too expensive. Now I have seen the light! They have story time twice a week! And the stuff they sell for kids, not just books, is astounding. Totally my type of shopping for kids. Intelligent toys and books and games. We were in heaven. Twice already.  Tomorrow is story time and we wont' miss it. Tyler will have friends and I will be surrounded by my other love, books.

What in particular did we leave with that I am so happy about? This  ( OR this - there is only a few cents difference in price.) The Alex Toys "Pirates of the Tub." If you have been reading former posts here, you know Tyler is a huge pirate fan. It will be his birthday party theme this coming Sunday. It is his favorite dress up costume.

This advertising pic is spot on. Foam pieces that stick to the wall (or you) and 2 plastic pirates and a cannon that squirt water. There are 38 pieces in all. Including a mesh bag with suction cups to keep it all organized after bath time. And just try getting your child out of the bath tub in a short time!

I gave it a 5 star review. Worth every penny.

Also this past weekend we ventured out to the local Renaissance Fair. It was very exciting for Tyler. Pirates! Knights! Jousting and sword fighting, pistols and cannons.! A juggler on stilts. A petting zoo. And we rode a real live elephant!

I grew up attending the huge Renaissance Pleasure Fair in Southern California. That is a spectacle. This is a much smaller scale, but it was good entertainment for a few hours. Everyone should go to  a Ren Faire once. For the kids sake, at least!

Fun Stuff Fridays