Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Summer Bucket List 2013

     With May right around the corner and school almost out it can only be one thing......It's almost time to start our Summer Bucket List!  Last summer I came across this fun idea of a Summer Bucket List from this great blog Little Wonders' Days.  Liam and I had a lot of fun coming up with ideas for our own Summer Bucket List last year, so I wanted to do it again this summer.   If you haven't done this before here's how it works.....

** I pretty much got the basic outline from Kelly's blog and adapted the master list to what our family wanted to do for the summer, special events around our area, and fun local places to visit **

  • First, make a master list of all the things your family will enjoy doing this summer.
  • Then break it down into how much time each activity will take and color code them by that.
  • Write each activity on the corresponding colored coded paper.
  • Take a simple sand bucket and decorate it with sticker letters, then place the papers inside.
  • Each day or evening, depending on your already scheduled activities, someone pulls out one piece of paper. (So, if you have  busy day, then you would pick out a color coded paper for an activity for an hour or less, if you have a full day open, then you would pick out a color coded paper for an all day activity).
I've broke down our activities into 4 time categories with corresponding colors:
  • All Day Activities
  • Half Day Activities
  • 2 Hour Activities
  • 1 Hour or Less Activities

 Here's what I came up with for our 2013 Summer Bucket List (I'm starting it June 17th, since we will be in Texas the last part of May into early June).

All Day Activities:
  • Go to the El Paso Zoo
  • Go on the Wyler Ariel Tramway
  • Go to Bob-O's Family Fun Center
  • Visit White Sands National Monument 
  • Visit Jungle Jacks
  • Go to Wet 'n Wild
  • Go to Western Playland Amusement Park
  • Go to Carlsbad Caverns

Half Day Activities:
  • Go to the Farmer's Market
  • Visit the Train Museum
  • Visit the Art Museum
  • Have a play date
  • Go to the Aquatic Center
  • Go to Alameda Zoo
  • Pony Rides at New Mexico Farm & Ranch Museum
  • Go see the Electric Light Parade
  • Go to the Museum of Space History
  • Visit the Sunland Park Race Track
  • Go to FunTrackers
  • PiƱata 

2 Hour Activities:
  • Go to Story Time
  • Visit a Bookstore
  • Go to Chuck E. Cheese
  • Go to the Bounce House
  • Visit the Nature & Science Museum
  • Have a picnic 
  • Feed the ducks
  • Play at the playground
  • Go Bowling
  • Make a volcano
  • Go to Peter Piper Pizza
  • Visit the flea market
  • Visit the Space Museum 
  • See a BMX Race
  • Go to the park

1 Hour or Less Activities:
  • Make Gak
  • Go for a cupcake
  • Water balloon toss
  • Go on a Shape Hunt
  • Ride bikes
  • Blow bubbles
  • Make ice cream
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk
  • Make a craft
  • Fly kites
  • Water gun fight
  • Go for donuts
  • Go to the library
  • Go for a hike
  • Play board games
  • Make balloon rockets
  • Make a fort
  • Paint a self portrait 
     We have so many fun things planned this summer, can't wait to get started!!  If you have never done a Summer Bucket List, I suggest you do!  It's a great way to spend some fun family time together over the summer.  

Upside Down Plum Cake

     I love finding new recipes to try out.  This one I found on Pinterest, man I love that site, from a great blog Red Star to Lone Star.  It was pretty simple and turned out great!  I think we ate it for dessert and for breakfast the next day.  It's not too sweet and plums make is so special.


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 TSpn honey
8 plums, cut into segments
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (I didn't add this)
1/2 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9-inch pan with 2-inch sides.
In a skillet melt HALF the butter with honey and sugar over medium heat, stirring until smooth sauce forms.  Pour sauce into prepared cake pan, arrange plum segments on top.

Mix flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt in medium bowl, set aside.  With a mixer, whip remaining butter and sugar until creamy.  Add eggs and both extracts (or one if you prefer) and whip until white and fluffy.  Add 1/3 flour mixture, mix until just blended.  Add 1/2 milk, then 1/3 flour, then rest of milk and flour, mixing until just combined.

Pour batter over plums, bake until golden brown, about 1 hour.  Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes, run a knife around the edges and carefully invert onto a serving platter.  Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Little Artists

     I found this really cool paint that only shows up on special paper made by Crayola, I thought it would be fun to see if Kinley liked it.  At first she did, then she just wanted to eat the paper, so we ended her painting session early to play while Liam continued to paint monster trucks.

Kinley loves her Liam, he makes her giggle all the time.  
It's so cute watching them play together.

My Lovely Lady

My Beautiful Boy

Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

     I know I mentioned this recipe in my Easter post, but it is just so good I thought it deserved it very own post.  I found this recipe on Pinterest from a yummy blog by Rachel Schultz.  It was so easy and DELISH!


1 pound brussels sprouts, de-stemed and halved
2/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 pecans, toasted
2 cups barley, cooked
1 TBsp maple syrup
1 TBsp balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt & pepper


Heat skillet with drizzling of olive oil over medium heat.  
Season brussels sprouts with salt & pepper and combine with cranberries in skillet.  
Cook sprouts and cranberries for 8-10 minutes, until berries begin to burst and sprouts become tender.  Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.  
Stir to coat and remove from heat.  
Toss barley, sprouts, cranberries, and pecans in a large bowl.  
Top with gorgonzola and serve.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

7 Months and Counting....

  Well today marks Kinley at 7 Months! Whoa! My little lady is growing up so fast and is as beautiful as ever!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Money $ense

     The other day I was browsing around the Dollar Tree for some fun projects like finger paints, large paper pads, activity books, then I came across some fun but educational games.  I found this one for learning about counting and matching different amounts of money.  Since we have introduced Liam to earning money to buy his own toys, I thought this was perfect.  So today, we went outside to play a round of Money Match Up while Kinley played with her toy piggy bank.

It got a little windy, so we headed in early today.  
Hope tomorrow isn't as windy so we can enjoy the warm weather longer!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Chart for Chores

     So recently we have noticed that Liam has way TOO many toys! The Angry Birds are taking over the house!  He just loves those crazy birds.  And since his collection has gotten bigger and bigger he has run out of space in his cubbies in his room.  So I decided to go through all his toys, setting aside the ones Kinley can play with later, ones to he wants to save, and ones to donate or pass on to a friend. That way we get rid of the old to make way for the new.  Also, speaking about the new.....We have come up with a plan so that Liam can earn new toys.  We used to reward him when he was potty training, but he is a pro at that now, and still sometimes expects a surprise when he goes.  He's 5, he should get over it right?  Well, not my son!  So, instead I came up with a simple Chore Chart that he can work on earning his own money to spend on his new toys/Angry Birds.  I want to teach him responsibility but also that you have to put in hard work to get what you want, plus with spending his own money we can teach him about good money choices.  I really hope this works, so far he is liking
it.  But it's only the second day!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Square, Triangle, Rectangle, and Circle

     For today's outside activity, the kiddos and I played with shapes.  Liam and I would show Kinley the shape block and tell her the color and shape. We did this over and over and over...but she just wanted to put them in her mouth, like everything else.  I used to do this with Liam when he was little too.  Liam is such a great big brother, he loves teaching his little sis new things.

We had another great day outside, hope you did too!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cowgirl Boots, Blocks, & Ninja Turtles

       Every warm day is an opportunity to go out and enjoy some fun in the sun.  Today, Kinley and I played with her wooden blocks and new teether toy named Coco the Monkey that I found at Target.  We only played with the blocks long enough for me to take a few pictures before Kinley started to put them in her mouth making the color paint come off.  So I set those aside for another day, when she's pass this stage and gave her another toy to play with.  Liam actually put the Angry Birds away to play with his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Another great day, hope tomorrow brings another one!

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