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Friday, June 23, 2017

What to Pack for a Day on a Boat



I would never consider myself an outdoor adventurist but now that the kids are getting older and Jeremy  really wants to explore more of our beautiful state, Colorado, we have some big plans in the coming years.  We are so lucky to have some amazing boating lakes in Colorado so one of our plans is to enjoy a nice day on a lake on a boat

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If you are like me, you love the idea of setting sail on a beautiful boat with the family but probably have no idea what to pack. I did some research and started an essential packing list for us to use as we plan our first family boating adventure.  

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What to Pack for a Day on a Boat

  • Swimsuit
  • Dry change of clothes
  • Towels
  • Life jackets
  • Swim goggles or masks
  • Floats, tubes and pool toys
  • Sand toys
  • Lake Activities - skis, tubes, etc. 
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Snacks & food
  • Cooking utensils
  • Water  & other Drinks
  • Cooler & ice
  • Paper towels & Wipes
  • Trash bags
  • First aid kit
  • Ziploc bags 
  • Flip flops and/or water shoes
  • Bug spray
  • Fishing supplies & license
  • Waterproof Camera
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Now if you are like us, you also do not own a boat and frankly really have no experience in the boating world.  Sure, we have enjoyed our fair share of boating experiences while out on large fishing boats with friends but never just us as a family. This is where Discover Boating is a great option.  I am comfortable with the packing but now we have to start planning our trip on the water with the family!

You don’t need to own a boat to experience what it’s like to have a vacation at your fingertips. Discover Boating has an interactive Go Boating Today tool that generates local options for boat rentals, classes, charters and more, simply enter your zip code to get started!  This is such a great tool for families like us.  We want to experience the lake moments and create memories but do not want the hassle of trying to figure out how to get a boat for the weekend.  

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Maybe after we experience a few family weekends on the boat from Discover Boating we will be able to decide if owning a boat is in our future as well.  We have a number of lakes to experience here in Colorado and the surrounding states.  I cannot wait to start getting onto the water.  Being in a landlocked state makes me itch for water, feet in, sun out, and the gentle water sounds....so relaxing!


Interesting boating stats from the National Marine Manufacturers Association:


  • 82% of Americans say being around water is relaxing.
  • 72% of Americans feel healthier after spending time on the water.
  • Millions of Americans go boating each year on more than 15 million boats in the U.S.
  • 84% of parents think their kids would be more likely to unplug on a boat trip versus a road trip.
  • 88% of American parents feel that their kids need to get more involved in outdoor activities this summer, like boating.

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Is some time on the water with your family part of your summer travel plans? 

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Make Your Own Sponge Bombs

Summertime means long afternoons of the kids begging you to watch shows.  There are afternoons that I want to allow them to do that but honestly, we have to get these kiddos outside and enjoy the summer!!  I decided to make a fun little tutorial and surprise them with a different kind of water fight!

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Make Your Own Sponge Bombs


These are literally the easiest tutorial that will bring tons of fun and laughs to your kids days during these long hot summer days.  

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Materials Needed:

Sponges - I used four 4 packs 
Scissors

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Directions:

1.  Cut each sponge into 3 pieces, longways.  

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2.  Stack rows of 3 pieces times 3!  A total of 9 sponge pieces. 

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3.  Wrap elastic band around all 9 sponge pieces.  Make sure the band is very tight, this will help the sponge create a round shape. 

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4.  Once the band is around the sponge tightly, arrange the sponge pieces so they are not sticking together. 

5.  They are ready to be soaked!!  Simply place in a bucket of water and let the sponge soak up the water and then get ready for a fun water fight!!

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I cannot wait to surprise my kids with this fun activity.  I think we will also use these Sponge Bombs for Jude's birthday party next weekend.  It will be so much fun!  I know his buddies will have fun with them in the pool.  

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How do you make sure your kids have a lot of fun activities to enjoy at home during the summer?





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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Book Series for 1st and 2nd Grade Readers

Jude is becoming quite the reader.  He is fast and loves it.  I love that!  Last school year, about mid-year he just hit this point a point that we had to find some new books for him to read that were more age appropriate and great stories for young active guys like him. 

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Book Series for 1st and 2nd Grade Readers


These are just a few of his favorites this summer.  I am happy that we have found so many series options for his reading level.  

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The Magic School Bus chapter books.  My kids have always enjoyed watching this TV show, so when our friend gave us these books I knew Jude would be so excited to jump in an start reading.  

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Geronimo Stilton Cavemice book series.  After talking to a fellow parent we found out about the Geronimo Stilton books.  So many to choose from.  We found the Cavemince series at the library and glad we did.  Such a fun series! 
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Galaxy Zack Collection.  This was a lucky find at the library when we were first trying to find some great books for Jude to enjoy through out the school year.  He quickly feel in love with Zack!  Thankfully there are a ton of books in the series so he can have fun exploring with Zack for a long time!

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A-Z Mysteries.  What a fun concept.  Each book starts with a letter of the alphabet.  So creative!!  Example:  The Absent Author.  Jude is looking forward to more mysteries.  

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Hey Jack! Book Series.   I wrote a review on these books a while ago.  They are great.  Jude can read one book in about 30 minutes, however.  I would say this is a great starting series for new readers!  

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Looniverse book series.  Jude loved the first two so much that when we saw that the library did not have book 3 we asked them to special order it for him.  They did!!  I love that!  Great library system here in Colorado.  

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Magic Tree House Books.  Now, I think everyone has heard of these.  I am so excited for Jude to keep reading this series.  When he read the first one he told me he loved it because the book was magical!  


Are there any book series you would add to our must read list for 1st and 2nd graders?



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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Donut Strawberry Shortcake

I feel like I have told you this before but I am just going to let you know again....I LOVE donuts.  But I also have a very favorite summertime dessert, Strawberry Shortcake.  We usually enjoy that dessert for all of our summer parties and BBQs.  A family favorite for sure, nice cool and light dessert for those hot summer days.  Well, friends, have you thought of combining donuts and strawberry shortcake before?  Now you are, and I am sure you are craving a sweet treat right about now!  YUM!

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Oh my gosh!  So good!  Now, a little disclosure here.  Yes, I am fully aware that by me adding a glazed donut to this dessert it makes it less lite but come on y'all...some days you need a donut!  

Donut Strawberry Shortcake 

Free Printable Recipe Here

Ingredients:

Glazed Donuts, sliced in half (like a bagel)
Strawberries, cleaned and sliced
3 TBSP sugar
Whipped Topping of your choice. 

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Directions:

1.  Prepare your strawberries about 1 hour before serving.  Clean and slice the strawberries and place them in a bowl. 

2.  Add sugar to strawberries and stir to combine. 

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3.  Refrigerate sliced strawberries for at least 1 hour before serving. 

4.  Prepare glazed donuts by slicing them the way you would a bagel.  

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5.  Top one side of a donut with chilled strawberries.

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6.  Spoon on whipped topping on top of the strawberries. 

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7. Place other side of donut on top of the whipped topping and strawberries. 

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8.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Looks pretty great right?  Yum.  And really easy too.  These could be prepared ahead of time by slicing the donuts and having them ready for your guests.  Letting everyone top their own "shortcake" how they like it.  

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I love finding ways to get creative in the kitchen but not spend hours preparing a dessert or meal.  This is a great alternative.  I guarantee your guests will be asking for seconds on this one.  

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What is your favorite summertime dessert to enjoy at your BBQs and parties?

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