Sunday, May 22, 2016

Free or Almost Free Activities for Kids

Wondering what you'll be doing this summer with your kids? Here are some fun things to get your kids up and out of the house.



The first Saturday of the month Home Depot offers a Kid's Workshop (year round)

Home Depot supplies everything you'll need, including an apron and goggles you can take home (plus if you go every Saturday they give you a patch to put on your apron for every competed project.

June 4th they are doing a Trophy Smartphone Holder for Father's Day. You can go register online through their website here: http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops

The Lego Store does a Mini Build in store once a month (year round)

The mini build is for kids ages 6-14. The Lego Store supplies the Lego and the instructions, your child must build the toy in store but they do get to take it home, free.
Register online here: http://shop.lego.com/en-US/minibuild-registration

The next event is June 7 & 8, and  you can register for July's mini build starting on June 15th.

Lowes has a Build and Grow program for kids every other Saturday (year round)

Their next big build is Saturday June 11th, kids get to build their own Captain America.
Registration starts on May 30th for the Captain America clinic you can register here: https://lowesbuildandgrow.com/

Lakeshore does free Crafts Every Saturday (year round)

No reservations, but you can visit their website to see what upcoming crafts they have here: http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/general_content/store_locations/storeCrafts.jsp

BassPro Offers Free Events Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (summer/varies by location)

Bass Pro offers A LOT of free activities from noon to five. Activities vary by location but might  include Catch and Release Fishing, Free Photo Download (of you "holding" a fish or frog), kids crafts, cooking demos (with free food), Kayak test ride pool. Just head to their website and put in your nearest Bass Pro and you should see an events section on the right side if you scroll down a page. http://www.basspro.com/

AMF Bowling offers Free Games to Kids (summer)

2 Free Bowling Games a day for each child (shoe rental not included).
You can sign up here: http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/
-Side note- we don't have an AMF that close to us but we live down the street from a local bowling alley and they offer free games to kids, so check with your local alley even if it isn't AMF.

Regal offers $1 Movies Tuesdays and Wednesdays

The movies start at 10 AM and you have the choice of two different movies each week. The movies are all movies that are out of theaters/on dvd but it is a lot of fun and a great way to stay cool.
You can see the movie schedule here: http://www.regmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express?


Michaels offers a Kids Craft for $2 every Saturday

From 10-2 the $2 covers the cost of the craft supplies used and this is a great option if you don't have a Lakeshore for Saturday crafts.

Free Entrance to National Parks

August 25-28, 2016 and September 24th.

Check Your Local Library

Ours offers all sorts of summer fun, from activities to reading programs where kids can earn points by reading to redeem for prizes.


Hope this helps you plan out your summer a little bit more, if you know of any free or almost free activities for kids let me know in the comments so I can add them in.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cast Iron Steak

This delicious steak is made in a cast iron skillet and is the perfect meal for dad on Father's Day!


This steak is pretty easy to make and tastes absolutely amazing. I always start with steaks that are on sale as long as they are boneless you can use this recipe to make the perfect steak in your cast iron skillet. We served out steak with steamed broccoli and carrots.

Ingredients:

Salt
Pepper
2 Garlic Cloves - more if you are a garlic lover
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Steak (for best cooking steak should not be thicker than 1 inch)
2 Tablespoons Butter


Directions: 


Cooking directions for 1/2 inch thick steak (medium-rare 145°), increase or decrease cooking time depending on your steaks thickness.


Pull out steak and let it get to room temperature (about 30 minutes before cooking)
Season steak with salt and pepper.
Heat your cast iron skillet on high heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot add steak to skillet allow to cook for 3 minutes then flip steak and cook for another 3 minutes.
Lower heat to medium and add butter and garlic to pan, as the butter melts use an oven mitt to tilt the pan (allowing the butter to pool) and spoon the melted butter and garlic over the steak, continue to spoon the butter over the steak for about a minute.
Remove steak from the skillet and cover with aluminum foil, let the steak rest for 10 minutes before serving.




Saturday, May 14, 2016

Raspberry Iced Tea

I love tea! And with summer coming iced tea is the way to go. Costco had a good deal on berries so I bought some and what wasn't eaten by my sons in the first 5 minutes of getting home went towards this delicious raspberry iced tea.


The hardest part about this tea is waiting for it to get cold so you can drink it. I used frozen raspberries as my ice but you could also use regular ice cubes or frozen tea to keep your raspberry iced tea refreshingly cold.


 Ingredients

20 - 25 Raspberries
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
7 Cups Water
5 Tea Bags (more if you want a stronger tea)


Directions

Combine raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup of water together in a sauce pan, bring to boil. (You can see the stages in the photo above.)
Remove from heat and strain the syrup to remove the seeds and pulp. You should be left with about 6 oz of seed and pulp free raspberry syrup.
Make your tea according to the package directions using more tea bags for a stronger tea.
Remove tea bags and add the syrup and stir. 
Refrigerate overnight to cool. 




Monday, May 9, 2016

DIY Lego Lanyard

My sons and I recently went to Legoland to check out the new Ninjago Ride. We've been before and one of our favorite parts of going to Legoland is being able to trade Lego Figures with cast members! You can bring in a Lego figure (a head body and legs) and trade with cast members throughout the park, it's awesome!!!


The cast members have special lanyards or name tags that they wear that the Lego figures can attach to. I loved the Lego lanyards for my boys, but they are custom made for the cast members and are not available for sale so we went home and made them!! And you can too!


Supplies Needed:

Drill with 1/16th drill bit
Pliers (to hold the Lego when you drill)
Flat square 2x2 Lego pieces (you'll want 4-6 per lanyard)
Lanyards (we picked one up at Legoland and then two more at our local dollar store)
Needle and thread

Directions

Use the pliers to hold on to the Lego piece drill 4 holes in the middle of each of the Lego pieces you'll be using.



Line up your Lego pieces with where you would like them to be then use a pin to secure them, this will help you keep them symetrical.
Take each Lego piece and hand sew them onto your lanyard.


When your finished add you Lego figures and you're ready to go!







Friday, May 6, 2016

Lemonade "Ice" Cubes

I came up with this crazy idea while I was taking photos of my fresh squeezed lemonade. I used normal ice and it was melting and diluting the drink so, LEMONADE ICE CUBES.


Just use the recipe for my fresh squeezed lemonade and pour it into an ice cube maker and freeze for as many hours as you can handle waiting before wanting a glass of lemonade!

HERE'S THE RECIPE FOR THE FRESH SQUEEZED LEMONADE:

Ingredients:

4 Lemons (about 1 cup of lemon juice)
7 Cups Water
1 Cup Sugar (or less for more tartness)

Directions:

Juice your lemons - I do this by rolling the lemons then cutting them and squeezing out the juice (to get the most juice use a fork or a citrus juicer.
Add your water and juice together in a pitcher then add sugar. Stir.

Add some lemonade "ice" cubes to your cup, pour your lemonade, and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

There is nothing better than a cold glass of lemonade! I was at Costco and made an impulse buy, a giant bag of lemons! Now what do you do with a giant bag of lemons? Make lemonade (and then some lemon meringue pie)! The recipe I use is super simple you just need water, lemons, and sugar!


Ingredients:

4 Lemons (about 1 cup of lemon juice)
7 Cups Water
1 Cup Sugar (or less for more tartness)

Directions:

Juice your lemons - I do this by rolling the lemons then cutting them and squeezing out the juice (to get the most juice use a fork or a citrus juicer.
Add your water and juice together in a pitcher then add sugar. 
Stir and enjoy!





Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ninjago World Legoland California

*Sponsored Post: Though I was not paid to write this post I was given free tickets to Legoland, CA. All thoughts, opinions, and love of all things Lego ;) are my own.*

I was lucky enough to be able to get an advanced look at Ninjago World at Legoland California, opening to the public on May 5th, 2016. My family and I were able to check out the activities, the new NINJAGO RIDE (which I thought was super fun!), and try some of the new food that will be served at Ninja Kitchen within Ninjago World!



Ninjago Ride:

The Ninjago ride is a 4D ride that lets you interact as you train to become a ninja controlling either fire, ice, lightening, or shockwaves using just your hands! 


The Ninjago Ride sits up to four, allows young kids on the ride, as long as they are able to sit unassisted, and kids 48 inches and up are able to ride alone. It is a smooth ride, there was no signage on not being able to ride pregnant though they do have a warning with pre-existing conditions, so if you are pregnant I think it becomes a judgement call and whether you would be comfortable riding, I am 20 weeks (no complications/low risk) and felt fine and I saw another guest in front of me who was closer to 30 weeks who also rode. My youngest is 1 and able to sit unassisted but he did need help sitting up when the ride turned so younger children would do best sitting between parents or sitting between a parent and an older child. My older child is three, and though I thought the ride was amazing, with the interactive scenes, he wasn't a fan of the effects (fog and air blowing in different scenes).

Activities:


Kai's Spinners

Learn to spin like a ninja! This is an area that has spinners (single person spinning platforms) that you can stand on and spin.

Zane's Temple Build


Help Zane build a model of the Ninjago Monastery this is an area where kids can build with Lego!

Cole's Rock Climb

This area has a small rock climbing walls where young ninjas can train and work on their endurance as they try to climb to the top!

Jay's Lightning Drill

This activity tests your reflexes as you push the lit up button!

Food:

Of course, with the new Ninjago World, there's a new place to eat at Legoland California, Ninja Kitchen. Ninja Kitchen will be serving up Vietnamese Asian street food with Bahn Mi Sandwiches on baguettes or Bao Buns with your choice of pork, chicken, or tofu.


I tried the chicken Bahn Mi on a baguette and loved it, though it does have some spice to it, I would consider it mild. My three year old didn't like it but my one year old shared the sandwich with me!

We had so much fun at Legoland, California inside and outside of Ninjago World. Though I really enjoyed Ninjago World I do feel it is geared towards slightly older kids, I came with a friend who's son is 7 and he LOVED the ride!


Want to learn more? Check out these reviews from other Legoland Bloggers!


Michelle from Delicate Construction brought her daughter along and you can see her review here.

Michelle from Be Brave, Keep Going brought her two kids along for the ride and they loved it see her review here.

Lysa from Garcia Memories brought along her two sons and her review includes photos of Kai's Spinners and Cole's Rock Climb! See it here.

Lora from Lora Says So! came to Legoland for the Ninjago event and her post includes a video of the Ninjago Ride so you can get a feel for the ride before you go; see it here.

Smitha from Running with SD Mom headed to Legoland with her family and she has an awesome tip to help you rack up the points on the Ninjago ride, see her post here.

Abby from Hewes Family Fun took her son to Legoland and she has some suggestions on how to save money when you buy your Legoland tickets, check it out here.

Becky from Craft Create Calm was not only able to attend the press preview but she was also able to get a sneak peak of Ninjago World during construction! Check it out here.