Easy Vegetarian Indian Dinner

Easy Vegetarian Indian Dinner - This is such an easy dish to make and sure to be a family favourite. For kids of all ages and a quick dish to make making it great after a day of work.

This is one of our FAVOURITE dinners in my house.  I hate repetition, but we have it every month or so.  My kids love to dip things, and as vegetarians I am always looking for easy ways to get some iron (spinach) and protein (lentils) into them.  This is a whole meal and one, but doesn’t take a long time to make or require a lot of ingredients.

What do you need to make it?

 Easy Vegetarian Indian Dinner - ingredients

5.0 from 3 reviews
Easy Vegetarian Indian Dinner
 
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
  • •2 Onions minced
  • •Garlic (I use pre-minced) 2 tbsp
  • •Bag of spinach
  • •Package of Paneer cheese
  • •Oil
  • •1 tsp Tumeric
  • •1/2-1 tsp Cumin
  • •1/2-1 tsp Chili powder
  • •1 tsp Cinnamon
  • •2 cups Lentils (rinsed and maybe soaked for 5 min if you have time)
  • •Water to cover lentils in pot, I found aboutt 3-3½ cups
  • •2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • •4 tbsp. Lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Prep everything first, put lentils to soak, cut the onions, wash the spinach, cut the paneer, drain lentils.
  2. In a pot fry ½ onions for about five minutes until translucent, add in garlic and stir. While that cooks add in all the spices and stir. Add in lentils and enough water to cover, about 3½ cups I found. Add in tomato paste and stir. You can cook for 25-45 minutes, keep stirring regularly.
  3. Preheat the oven and put in the naan bread to warm. Only needs to be in about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add the other ½ of minced onions and cook for five minutes again, until translucent. Add in the paneer cheese, stir/flip regularly until starting to brown, add in a hand full or two of the spinach and cook. We like our paneer a little crispy so prefer it too cook longer. (Check on your naan!) Spinach shrinks a lot when hot so keep adding in handfuls of spinach until your bag is done and it is all wilted. Ensure the cheese is done to your preference.
  5. Serve all three on a plate and watch your kids actually eat!
Want to see how to make it?

What are your kids favourite Indian dishes?  Any favourite recipes to share?  Please link them below for me!

Easy Vegetarian Indian Dinner - This is such an easy dish to make and sure to be a family favourite. For kids of all ages and a quick dish to make making it great after a day of work.

Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Vegetarian Yummys on Pinterest.If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggersEasy Vegetarian Indian Dinner - This is such an easy dish to make and sure to be a family favourite. For kids of all ages and a quick dish to make making it great after a day of work.

 

Camping Menu

EASY CAMPING MENU IDEAS - In need of an easy camping menu to make the most of your time outdoors? Tasty, easy and sure to get everyone eating? Check out these stand-byes.

Camping is so much fun but can be exhausting.  You want an easy camping menu that the kids will eat, minimal time to prepare, and not a lot of cooler space being used since it is at a premium while camping. It is the best time for good food, but with minimal amounts of effort!

These are my go-to meals to have on our camping menu that my kids actually eat.  I can prepare stuff  before we leave and easily grab extras in town to supplement as the cooler gets emptier so I can fill it again.  Pretty much tasty, easy meals, with minimal amounts of effort so we can spend more time chilling with friends, exploring nature, playing at the beach, or enjoying a campfire.

For breakfast we enjoy eating:

Banana MuffinsChocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins - FBYogurt, cereal, instant oatmeal, fruit, overnight oats premade at home and kept in the cooler.

We make muffins at home and pre-freeze them to stay fresh and keep the cooler cool.  It is such a great and easy breakfast or snack.  A staple of mine for sure when planning our camping menu.

If we feel like making more effort, then of course we do scrambled eggs and home fries, but it depends on our effort and cooler space. We also have to be mindful of keeping little hands away from the Coleman stove.  I look forward to making this next weekend camping though for breakfast.

For lunch we throw together:

Easy Lunch Quesadillas - IGUsually a modge-podge of things.  I pre-cut veggies for sandwiches and to dip in hummus or another veggie dip.  Hard boiled eggs, sliced cheese, crackers/pita/tortilla/buns.   I pre-make chickpea salad and/or egg salad sandwich filling for easy sandwiches.  Or we just stick to PB & J since it is easy and the kids love it.

Salsa & chips is a favourite too.  We may even eat it with leftovers from dinner (taco salad, chili, etc.).  My kids love black beans so that’s an easy thing to throw in with the salsa to eat.

One of my good friends always pre-makes quesadillas to bring camping and my kids swarm her like flies to get bites too.  Wrap them in tin foil, then toss in a zip lock bag to keep it out of the water at the bottom of the cooler.

Looking for some #easycampingmeals check out these favs #campingfood #campfirefood Click To Tweet

For dinner we enjoy:

Dinnertime we usually have everyone contribute stuff to make joint meals easier.  These are our favourites.

Dorito SaladDorito salad, or walking tacos, or quinoa taco salad, all the same thing.  Perfect because like tacos everyone personalizes theirs so you get exactly what you want.  A great hit with the kids.

Crockpot Vegetarian Pasta SaucePasta is always super easy, especially if you throw together a salad to go on the side.  I make the pasta sauce in advance so it has some protein in it to make it more filling, but you can even just bring a jar of tomato sauce and use that.  Plain still tastes good!  Again, if pre-made I freeze it in zip lock bags to stay fresh until we eat it and also help keep the cooler cold.

We make frozen chili in advance too (again freeze in zip lock bags to stay fresh and keep the cooler cold).  We add whatever fits in the cooler and we have on hand, nacho chips, grated cheese, cut up avocados, sour cream, etc.  It is always a big hit and super filling.

Hobo Dinner IGOf course if you have a campfire you can roast veggie or meat hot dogs on it for a fun hands-on meal everyone is sure to enjoy.

If you start the campfire early enough you can always make foil dinners.   These are a favourite of ours while camping, but they take two hours to cook by the fire so make sure you start them early or plan for a late dinner.

 

Banana Boats - Try making these delicious camping desserts on the open fire, or at home for a camping feel. Easy to personalize and make vegan.Is it time for dessert yet?

If you have a campfire then you can make Banana boats for dessert!!  THE BEST CAMPING DESSERT!

 

 

EASY CAMPING MENU IDEAS - In need of an easy camping menu to make the most of your time outdoors? Tasty, easy and sure to get everyone eating? Check out these stand-byes.

What are your favourite go-to meals while camping?  Do you go for tasty or easy or both?

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Raising Fairies and Knights Blog posts on Pinterest.

EASY CAMPING MENU IDEAS - In need of an easy camping menu to make the most of your time outdoors? Tasty, easy and sure to get everyone eating? Check out these stand-byes.

We Are Knitters – Katja Cape knitting review

We Are Knitters - Katja Cape review - My first knitting project and I took on the Katja Cape from We Are Knitters, come check out the results and how easy it is to take up knitting!

I have always loved knitting and wanted to learn to knit.  I learned how to do it as a kid and used to keep my knitting in the van for long car rides.  Unfortunately,  my dad’s van got stolen and that was the end of my knitting since my stuff was gone.  My Granny was an amazing knitter and used to make amazing doggy sweaters, mitts, scarfs, and stuffed animals. I always wanted to figure it out but arthritis kicked in before I was able to learn from her.

EN---knitting-kit-wool-katja-cape---1---KATJ

Knitting 5When I was approached by We Are Knitters to try out one of their products I was SUPER excited!  Being a beginner they helped guide me towards the beginner projects that I could tackle. I chose to do the Katja shawl.  I choose the colours and eagerly awaited my shipment in the mail.  It was super fast.

 

Starting Off

Knitting 3I watched the instructional videos over and over again and attempted to start my project.  Well….. there certainly was a learning curve.  I had to re-start three times, but that was due to my ability not the project.  Luckily I had a girls weekend with my friends coming up.  A good friend of mine is an AMAZING knitter (she knit my son a cardigan that still fits him a year later) she took one look at it and encouraged me to rip it apart and start again.  With her help I was now on the right track and could tackle the project.  I suppose starting off with thick wool and chunky wooden needles wasn’t the easiest project to start with, but with her help I was well underway and loving how it looked!

Knitting 4I brought this with me everywhere, with two young kids I could only do a row here and there so it took me a LONG time.  It should have been faster, but oh well.  The next one I am sure I can do in half the time. It came with me to my daughters gymnastics practice to do as I watched, in the car as my husband drove for vacations, outside while watching my kids play, and camping with my other knitting friends.  We may have looked dorky all sitting there knitting, but I  thought we looked cool.

Need a new craft? #weareknitters has awesome kits for beginners to #startknitting Click To Tweet

Knitting 2Practice Makes Perfect

My biggest issue was I kept picking up stitches randomly while I knitted.  I would count at the end, and have an extra stitch or two each line.  Soooo my knitting doesn’t look even, but that is because I had to keep dropping stitches I had picked up.  Although I did the same pattern the whole way along, the beginning was really loose because I was just learning, I kept messing up my stitch count and I got tighter at the end.  Whatever, I love it and for my first piece of knitting I think it looks great.

Knitting 1Review

I honestly had so much fun doing this piece and really recommend it.  Even with  NO experience (I really don’t count a row or two in the car at age 11) I made this.  If you want to try and learn to knit the Katja Cape like me, this kit (or another beginner one) would be PERFECT for you.  I cannot recommend it enough.  It was a great way to de-stress and have some me time, even with the kids.  Grab a cuppa tea or wine (depending on the time….) and your knitting and you can supervise and interact with your kids while you knit.

We Are Knitters - Katja Cape review - My first knitting project and I took on the Katja Cape from We Are Knitters, come check out the results and how easy it is to take up knitting!

 

What do you guys think?

I have a birthday coming up next month and am I am already planning out which kit I want to do next.  These two kits are at the top of my list, so hopefully someone gives one to me!  The Cub Scarf on the left I would need extra wool so I can make one for each of my kids, but I would love one in adult size too!  Otherwise the cloak on the right would be for me 🙂

knitting-kit-merino-kids-cub-scarf-1_2

EN---knitting-kit-wool-thistle-cape---1---THI

 

If you could knit one of these which would you do next?  What are your favourite knitting projects?

Check out the kits from We Are Knitters below, there are so many options of things you can get!

logo-header

Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook for some awesome pics and ideas of new patterns and kits to try out.

DISCLAIMER:  I was given a kit to try out in exchange for my blog post, all opinions are my own and I make no money from you following links or purchasing anything.

 

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
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We Are Knitters - Katja Cape review - My first knitting project and I took on the Katja Cape from We Are Knitters, come check out the results and how easy it is to take up knitting!

Getting your Freedom Back as a Mom

Getting Your freedom back as a mom - ig

This past week I had the amazing experience to go camping with my two wonderful children (3 and 1.5 years old), my sister, friends, and other acquaintances at an awesome festival we visit each year.  It is an amazing experience, the only place I go where I can really feel the “village” still has an effect.  Everyone helps to look after each other’s kids (even the child-less adults are moms for the week), we don’t wear shoes and get to run wild in nature hearing bands, attending workshops,  doing crafts at Munchkinland for the kids, swimming daily, and playing at the park.

I have been attending this festival every year for about eight or nine years.  I did it last year with a 2 year old and seven month old baby, and honestly it was hell.  Trying to juggle the two of them (even with help) was awful.  I was an emotional wreak and broke down more than once.  Trying to get the two of them to cooperate for naps and bedtime was just awful, after last year where it was seriously challenging and hard I knew no matter what this year could not be as bad!

This year was a JOY!  My children were amazing!  My daughter was at the age where she could be independent and play on her own while I put her brother down for a nap.  My son LOVED exploring nature and had a blast studying plants and wandering around enjoying his freedom.  They visited friends at neighbouring campsites and I didn’t even have to worry as it was only 10 feet away!

Last year I felt so tied down, I couldn’t attend any workshops, go to any of the nightlife activity since I had to be at the tent with the kids, and my emotions were so raw from trying to juggle a baby and a cranky toddler.  I was thrilled with how different this year was.  Yes they are still children and have their moments, but it was great to see everyone playing nicely (for the most part!) together, both kids had friends their age there from some of my BFF’s so we had two 3-year-olds, 2 1.5-year-olds and other kids around those ages who popped in and out regularly to play.  That combined with the five adults to look after them and back each other up was great.

13872712_10155161292169478_4642200756022411313_nAlthough I still couldn’t make it to any workshops or nightlife this year, I didn’t mind as much, I still got to leave the site with the kids and check out the vendors, and the swimming, that is what gave me my freedom back.  Moms, have you heard of a PUDDLE JUMPER??  It is a LIFESAVER!  I used to have to hold my kids in the water, neither are big enough to swim on their own, then we discovered the puddle jumper, and my life has changed forever.

 

I always loved to swim, I was a fish and loved to be underwater all the time, with kids, you can’t really do that, I was really limited since I am always with my kids, and although I still loved swimming and went in the water, I mostly stayed at waist height playing with the kids.

You give up so much as a mom, get your #freedomback! Click To Tweet

13659164_10155161293509478_3227132755319959401_nFast forward back to the camping festival, with both kids in puddle jumpers, I got to SWIM!!  We swam out to the floating dock every day, my kids love to swim and I was thrilled they would go on an adventure with me to the floating dock.  In case you are panicking, there was at least one adult per kid and we were always close to the kids swimming, even in their pudde jumpers.  Once at the floating dock we all climbed on board, my daughter was content to sit on the dock and count for people jumping off, but my son (18 month old) LOVED to jump off the floating dock, sometimes into my arms sometimes nowhere near me.  It was amazing.  I loved to see my kids have so much fun and for me, I got a little freedom back this week.  It may not seem like much, but to someone who loves swimming (and doing anything really on yor own) once you have kids, you realize you have to give up stuff you never even considered before (like going swimming underwater with no child in your arms).  If there is a way to give you back some of your freedom easily, then go for it!

For me it was a simple puddle jumper (you can buy it at Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Amazon, or we got one free from our local buy nothing group) that helped me get some freedom back.  Now my kids could swim WITH me instead of on me, so we were all comfortable going deeper and could do so safely.

Maybe next year I will make it to a workshop, maybe I will get to swim to the dock alone, maybe I can hit up a concert or fire pit and dancing or other night life, for now I am content to be near my kids and satisfied they are safe and happy, but when they are ready for more independence I cannot wait to get back some of mine!

 

What is one thing you didn’t expect you would have to give up when you became a parent.  Comment below!

Please do not forget to share this post with others!

Getting Your freedom back as a mom - pt

 

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Camping Hacks

Camping Hacks - Going camping is so much fun! But challenging with young kids. Try these Camping Hacks with kids to make your life easier and camping more fun!

 

Do you like to go camping with your kids?  I sure do! Although we always have a blast, I have picked up some tricks over the years to make our trip more enjoyable and comfortable. Here are some of my favourite hacks while camping with my kids.

Pillow case 1

This may seem like an odd hack, but after a week camping it was useful to me and other campers thought it was neat so I thought I would share it.  Instead of changing your pillow case before camping, bring the clean pillow case in your luggage, change it after your tent is set up.  I found my pillows got super dirty in the car and sitting on the ground or picnic table during unloading.  It is much better to change it once in the tent for a clean pillow.  Then use the dirty case as a laundry bag, put all your dirty clothes in there during the trip so it is easy to cart home and take straight to the washing machine to be cleaned.

Pump soap & solar shower

This was my sister’s genious idea, combined with my soap.  Bring a solar shower with you.  It is only like $10-15 at Wal-Mart, a great investment if you camp a lot and also good for showers while camping.  Fill it with water and hang it from a tree, put some soap near by, I just brought regular pump soap, it is easier than a bar and can sit at the bottom of the tree on the ground.  After using the outhouse or port-a-potty or bush you can easily wash your hands afterwards!  My three-year-old could manage to wash her own hands, which made our life much easier. Great to wash your hands after playing in the dirt, questionable beach water, and before meals.  A simple cleanliness station, which makes you feel MUCH better camping.

Potty

My daughter can go to the toilet herself at home, but at three I don’t want her traipsing to the port-a-potty on her own and they are pretty nasty.  We bring her potty with us, I take out the center (for catching the poop and pee) and she can easily bush pee on her potty independently without needing us to run her to the camp bathrooms.  With the hand washing station above she can wash her hands afterwards on her own too.  Being able to have your child go to the bathroom independently is a great blessing while camping as it saves you time and effort.  She knew when she had to go poop to tell us and we would take her to the port-a-potty, no one wants to clean that up out of the grass!

Wagon 1

This one is depending on the ages of your kids.  We have a pop-up wagon that is AMAZING.  It can be used to help cart all your camping gear to your tent, store stuff at the site, help you transport kids around the site easily, hold all your beach toys, towels, water bottles etc. while going to the beach, and if you have to walk to your car help transport groceries from your car and/or kids to the car for errands into town.

Thermal BagI brought an extra thermal bag (I LOVE my Thirty-One thermals!) on the way up for drinks and veggies that didn’t fit in the cooler.  Once they did I used the bag for ice runs to keep the ice solid longer.  It worked great!  Driving to town and back plus walking to and from the parking lot meant at least 10-20 minutes that the ice was out of the freezer before going in the cooler.  A thermal bag to transport makes a difference and it is cold carrying it against your body so some extra protection between you and the ice feels better too.

Sarong fence

This one is great for close camping quarters and festivals.  Use those clothes lines like a fence. Bring string/rope to tie up around the perimeter of your camping area (also a great way to mark off your area so no one comes camping in it during festivals) then bring old curtains, sheets, sarongs, and clothes pins.  Pin them up on the clothes lines around the camp, it’s pretty, and you get more privacy!

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Have outside and inside bags

In a week camping we did not let one single mosquito into our ten (and let me assure you there were tons!).  I have a three and one and a half year old so that is saying something.  Trips into the tent are kept to a minimum and usually reserved for nap times and bed time.  I have a bin outside the tent with stuff we need regular access to like sunscreen, bug repellent, toothbrushes, hats, bathing suits, and flashlights.  Stuff is easier to access outside and you keep the bugs out of your tent with minimal trips.

 

Solar Lights

These are awesome and cheap.  You can take ones from your yard, or pick some up at Dollarama before you go.  Stick them out in the sun during the day to charge, then at night you can put them around your seating area and/or the edges of your tent so you can see where the tripping spots are.  It is great for checking on sleeping kids too, enough light to see them and like a nightlight, without having to flash your flashlight at them and wake them up.

 

Don’t forget to bring a flashlight too! Check out these cool flashlights, every camper needs a good flashlight.

 

Camping Hacks - Going camping is so much fun! But challenging with young kids. Try these Camping Hacks with kids to make your life easier and camping more fun!

What are your camping hacks?  What makes your life easier while camping?

Camping with little ones? Try these hacks to make camping easier. Click To Tweet




Camping Hacks - Going camping is so much fun! But challenging with young kids. Try these Camping Hacks with kids to make your life easier and camping more fun!

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Green Onion & Mango Noodles

Green Onion & Mango Noodles - A yummy combination of green onions, mango, noodles, and sweet chili sauce, optional fried tofu is a great addition for a simple yet delicious dinner!

I love Asian food!  Noodles, sesame oil, soy sauce, I love it all.   I really enjoy making different noodle dishes to try out.

Mango & green oinion noodles ingredients

5.0 from 1 reviews
Green onion and mango noodles
 
Author:
Cuisine: Asian
Ingredients
  • 1¼ c of veggie broth (or I veggie stock pouch and 1.5 c of boiling water)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 tbso Sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Rice Noodles
  • 1 Mango
  • 2-4 Green Onions
  • Optional: Fried Tofu
Instructions
  1. Boil water to cook the rice noodles.
  2. Cut up the green onion and mango.
  3. In a stir fry pan add ¾ c of broth, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
  4. When it comes to a boil reduce heat and add green onions, sesame oil, and sweet chili sauce.
  5. Let it simmer while the rice noodles cook, as they are cooked use tongs and add them to the stir fry pan. Stir well to incorporate. Add mangos and stir well again.
  6. To add more protein to the dish cut up some tofu cubes and pan fry them. Add them to the noodles after incorporated with the sauce.
  7. Serve.

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If you like #padthai you will enjoy this dish too. Plus it's #vegetarian! Click To Tweet

This is a hit at my house.  The kids love noodles and mangos so this went over well for us.

Green Onion & Mango Noodles - A yummy combination of green onions, mango, noodles, and sweet chili sauce, optional fried tofu is a great addition for a simple yet delicious dinner! Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Vegetarian Yummys on Pinterest.If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Green Onion & Mango Noodles - A yummy combination of green onions, mango, noodles, and sweet chili sauce, optional fried tofu is a great addition for a simple yet delicious dinner!

Epic Water Play Summer Edition

Epic water play summer - Summertime is the perfect time to play outside and enjoy some water play!  Here are some great (free or cheap) ideas to keep the kids busy playing.

As you can tell if you read my winter edition epic water play post, I am a big fan of water play.  It is a  great way to keep kids busy, help them practice different motor skills like pouring and scooping and also just foster their creativity and imagination by playing different things with the water.  You can really spark their imagination when you add in different toys, kitchen utensils, etc. so they can have a chance to make believe what they think it should be used for.

Epic water play summer - Summertime is the perfect time to play outside and enjoy some water play!  Here are some great (free or cheap) ideas to keep the kids busy playing.

Here is my epic water play summer addition:

I think that setting up your outdoor play area is an essential part of summer survival regardless of what age your children are.  Summertime is the perfect chance to be outside and play.  You don’t necessarily need to have a lot of toys out there, but you need to be organized with activities and ideas of things that they should do out there to keep them busy.

I’m going on my third summer with outdoor play being a very important part of our summer plans.  Having a perfectly set up deck has always been essential for me.  Two summers ago I had a toddler and I was pregnant with my second child.  I had a lot of dizziness in my first and even into my second trimester, incredible vertigo where standing up made me so dizzy it was like I was drunk.  I wasn’t even safe to drive most of the time and trying to keep up with the busy active toddler was really difficult as all I want to do was lie on the couch and not move, as I am sure many people can attest to in their pregnancy.  I learned early on that summer how essential it was to keep my daughter busy outside while giving me a place where I could sit and watch her without having to move too much because moving made me dizzy.

I am sure it does not need to be said but you need to be cautious and ensure your child’s skin safety before you go outside to begin with.  When we go out I know we will be outside for a bit, so I try to put sunscreen on, then rash guard bathing suits with long sleeves so we can play outside for hours and not worry as much about getting burned.  None of us go anywhere without our water bottles either. I also try to set up the activities in the shade so they are not in the direct sun.

Looking for some fun #waterplay activities to keep your kiddos busy? Look no further! Click To Tweet

Toys I found useful for various activities in our backyard:

  • Little kids pools
  • Water table
  • Big swing set and slide
  • Toddler-size slide and climbing structure
  • Sports equipment (t-ball, foot ball, baseball, soccer ball, etc.)
  • Ride-on toys
  • Push toys
  • Buckets, cups, of various sizes
  • Random water or bath toys
  • Nets (like on a stick from the dollar store for catching stuff)
  • Bubble wands and solution

Water table

The water table may seem extravagant but for three years it has been a big part of keeping my kids busy outside.  My kids just love playing in the water.  Even though my son was only six months last summer, he loved the water table.  He figured out how to stand up and hold onto it and he could still play with it by “furniture cruising” around the ends of the table.
As with indoor water play, any kind of  waterplay is all about the set up.  If you can be really organized a few days ahead of time that is even better.  If you know the weather is going to be really really hot this is the perfect time to get organized for your waterplay battles.  Take some old yogurt containers and freeze some plastic animals inside.  I went to  the dollar store and bought a whole bunch of animals specifically for this purpose. I freeze the animals in the bottom of the containers of water (you can add food colouring for fun if you want) then when it’s time for us to actually go outside and play I put the frozen containers in some hot water so that it melts a little and I could get the ice out of the container.  I put all the frozen blocks of ice in their table and they can practice trying to get them out with hot water and tools or they can just practice letting it float around the table until the animals float free.  Either way they love the addition of animals throughout their water play to play with as well.

Another idea is to take some ice cubes and color them with food coloring before you freeze them, this will help the water get a dozen different colors.  They can also practice mixing different color ice cubes together and see what color it forms.  Random kitchen utensils also make a lot of fun, as do colanders, whisks (for some reason ??),  measuring spoons and cups.

Water table play

We have water toys dedicated for outdoor play to keep it fresh. I would just let them play for hours out there and they would have a blast. I even set up the blowup pool with cold water and the water table with hot water so they can experience the difference between temperatures. I would fill up parts of the water table with soapy water so they can practice giving animals a bath.  It is also a great way to get them to clean up their own toys.  Sponges are a lot of fun in the water table to see how much it absorbs and try squeezing it out.

All-around water tables are a great way to keep your kids busy in the summertime, especially when they are getting Squirrley towards the witching hour waiting for daddy to come home from work.  This is the best time to stick them in the water outside and have them play for a bit.

water bubble pool

I even fill up the kiddy pool with bubble bath and the kids can have a bath while playing in the pool!  Two activities in one!  We eat most of or meals outside in the summer too and before you know it you have been outside for about four hours enjoying the sun and making it so the fresh air will help them have a nice deep sleep that night.

Water kiddie pool

Some ways to keep the entertainment fresh with a kiddie pool:

  • Using a net scoop up plastic toys, or play fish.
  • Fill up watering cans and water the garden.
  • Scoop up water in cups and pots and pour it into a bucket/water table/etc.
  • Fill up with bubbles and use as a bath time.
  • Have the kids fill up the pool with the hose, it’s great practice aiming.
  • Plastic boats, squirt guns, tons of possibilities for play!

What is your favourite way to keep the kids busy outside?  What activities do you like to use to keep the kids busy?

Epic Water Play Winter Edition - IG

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Epic water play summer - Summertime is the perfect time to play outside and enjoy some water play!  Here are some great (free or cheap) ideas to keep the kids busy playing.

 

Monthly Crafting Book Club for July – Camping books

This month we decided to focus on camping books since so many are going camping!  Everyone gets to chose whichever children’s book they want to cover this month and do a craft or activity on the book.  We are lookig for bloggers to join us each month, you can choose whether or not to participate, you just need to come up with a craft or activity for kids based on the book and send me the URL and a picture to include in the collage by the 25th of each month.  Join our Facebook group to get updates and find out the next book.

Monthly Crafting Book Club for July - Camping books - I G

I chose to do Froggy Goes To Camp by Jonathan London, a personal favourite of my daughters.  It is a goofy book about a frog going to sleep away camp and it makes my daughter laugh and laugh.  In one of the scenes in the book Froggy and his teacher go kayaking, so we decided to do a kayak as our craft.

Kayak materials

Materials Needed:

  • Scissors, stapler, paint brushes, tape
  • Paint in three colours
  • Chop sticks
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Random animal or people to sit in the kayak (find them around the house)

kayak 2

  • Have the adult cut a hole in the middle of a toilet paper roll so the creature has somewhere to sit.
  • Get your child to help you staple down the end of the toilet paper roll so it closes like the end of a kayak.
  • Have your child choose a color paint and paint the “kayak” their favourite colour.
  • Using the leftover pieces of the toilet paper roll that you cut out of the cockpit, cut it in two and shape it like paddles.  We chose to paint the paddle ends brown.
  • Let it all dry.
  • Once the paddle ends are dry use tape to tape them onto the ends of a chop stick as the paddle.
  • Put your creature in the cockpit (hopefully they fit) and have fun pretending to kayak!!

kayak 1

 

Monthly

Monthly Crafting Book Club for July - Camping books - IG

 

Since everyone is so busy this summer we have one other blogger who participated this month be sure to check out her blog and see what curious George came up with to do this month.

Come check out #monthlycraftingbookclub for July, #camping! Click To Tweet

Can Lantern Title

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Gift Giving

GIFT GIVING - Gift giving is such a fun custom. It can be even more fun when you are organized & ready for it, between sales, wrapping, and fun traditions try these tipsI love picking out, shopping and making gifts.  At night when I’m bored I’ll figure out who is next on my list and do some online shopping.   I have an excel sheet listing birthdays, people who receive xmas gifts and my budget for each gift. Because I will buy gifts months early (and sometimes wrap them too) it is important for me to know what I’ve bought and how much I’ve spent.  By buying early I can look for sales and deals so people often think I spent more than I did.

My favorite things to get the kids in my life are board games, books, dress up items and craft supplies.  My nieces and nephews  have enough toys!  One of my favorite items I’ve bought were books that you can customize.  I’ve bought a Dora themed book off Shutterfly which is amazing.  I picked the theme and choose a photo to submit of  Bee.  These books are a bit of a leap of faith because you do not get to see any proofs before you buy.  10943115_10153607523424478_9010587224235765176_nThe reviews were high so I took a chance.  I am so glad I did.  They incorporated her name on every page and photo-shopped her head onto a cartoon body so she too is in the story.  I’ve also bought the Lost My Name books.  They do not use a picture of your child but they take each letter of the child’s name to form the story.  The premise of the book is they go on a hunt for each letter until their name is spelled.   It’s great for an older child.

When it comes to the older people in my life they do not want more stuff in their homes.  Many have down sized and space is at a premium.  I often opt to get my Granny consumable items or garden accessories like solar lights, which means I have to plan early and get her garden stuff in the summer.  My Nanny really appreciates a donation on her behalf to an animal charity.

IMG_6516For me wrapping the presents is half the fun.  The closet in our guest/play room is split between gift storage and wrapping and my extensive dress up stuff.  I have a bin for extra gifts that I found on sale and are not for anyone specific.  Having an organized wrapping area makes wrapping a million times easier and enjoyable.  I use a small garbage can to store my wrapping paper I use most often and a larger plastic container under the bed holds IMG_6517wrapping paper I use less often like wedding, Christmas and baby shower themed roles.  I use a plastic drawer unit to hold my ribbon, tags, bows and tissue paper.  You may notice in the cubbie above I store small scraps of paper for small items as well as more bows and gifts.  I’m not a big fan of gift bags, I prefer boxes and paper because I think they are more fun to open.  Which means I am one of those people who hoards small and medium boxes.  But I do have another short bin holding bags for the really bulky stuff.

The wrapping is what makes a present! Try out these easy tips to make your present beautiful. Click To Tweet

IMG_6518I’ve really been into the look of brown craft paper (dollarstore) and scrapbook paper bows lately.  Check out these easy bows I found on Pinterest.  I used to be really into scrap booking but I’ve moved to digital books so I cut up a bunch of my old paper to make this style bow.  I store some pre-assembled but they take up quite a bit of room so I have more in a shoe box that are ready to be taped together.IMG_6531

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Ideas of things to use!

One of our favorite family traditions growing up was a Jack Horner Pie.  It is inspired by the nursery rhyme.  It is kind of like loot bags.  When we had a special family gathering for a holiday or birthday someone would make one.  I just did one for Hil’s birthday.  I picked out small items for each person who would be IMG_6754attending, which was about 9 people.  We don’t go crazy maybe 2-3$ per person, often stuff from the dollar store.  Unlike traditional loot bags people do not get the same items.  We would stick all the items in a big bowl or gift bag and attach a long piece of ribbon to each item with a little piece of paper indicating the name at the other end.  GIFT GIVING - Gift giving is such a fun custom. It can be even more fun when you are organized & ready for it, between sales, wrapping, and fun traditions try these tipsThe result is a big bowl (or bag) with long pieces of ribbon hanging out.  The idea is that you can not see inside the bag or bowl, so we either hold it up high or cover it with tissue paper.  Everyone grabs the ribbon with their name on it and on three everyone pulls to see what they got.  Some examples of things we have used are lotto tickets, candy bars and sweets, stickers, bubbles, hair bows, so many options!

Have a family celebration you want to make special? Try making a Jack Corner Pie! Check it out. Click To Tweet

What are the best gifts you have received?  What are your go to gifts for the kids in your life?  Grandparents/Great grandparents?

 

Five Friday Favourites #11 – Top 5 TV Shows to Get you in the Halloween Spirit

I see all these scary movie posts on how to get you in the Halloween Spirit, well here are my top 5 TV shows to get you in the Halloween spirit:

Top 5 TV Shows to Get you in the Halloween Spirit - This is the perfect time of year to watch some magical shows, perhaps a little scary to get you in the Halloween spirit.

  1. Witches of East End

witches-of-east-end-the-complete-first-season-dvd-cover-08This is an awesome show full of witches and magic.  Other portals and worlds, learning how to cast spells, past lives, immortality, for me this is a great all year round show, but for the rest of you muggles a great show to get you in the Halloween spirit.   I watched this a lot this past winter when I was breastfeeding my newborn Po and was so excited when the second season came out this summer.  I love how they mention different Gods & Goddesses in it.

 

2.  Vampire Diaries and the Originals

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How about some vampires, werewolves, witches, and spirits?  Granted the vampires are the stars of the show, but this is a great combination of magical characters with of course a love triangle, because what’s a vampire story without a love triangle??  The Vampire Diaries got me through early morning cluster-feeding with Bee when she was a newborn.  I will always have a soft spot for it.

The Originals is a spin-off series on the Vampire Diaries, I have not seen it all yet, but am enjoying what I have seen so far.

Are you a Stefan or a Damion fan?  Have you tried out the Originals?

 

3.  True Blood

8dd378ee0e0295943ded7ad28c9cdf25_largeI am only on the second season of this show but it had a big following and I know it was quite popular.  What I have seen of the show I thought was funny.  I found it a little hard to follow, but I am not that far into it to form much of an opinion.

Should I stick with it?  Anyone else True Blood fans?

 

4. Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead

Walking-Dead-AMC

My husband got me into this show.  I am not a fan of scary shows, and zombies I found super creepy.  It took me a bit to get used to it and I had tons of zombie nightmares, but I quite like it now.  I was all caught up by the season finale last season and was excited with the start of this season so far.  I like how it is more about their survival and how humanity copes rather than all about zombies.

Fear the FTWD-NewKeyArt-400x600Walking Dead is a spin-off mini-series.  Not many episodes yet but it’s fun to see how their society became what it was.  I still find it a little scary though.

What do other’s think about Fear the Walking Dead?  Whose your favourite character?

 

5. Game of Thrones

MV5BNTgxOTI4NzY2M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjY3MTM2NDE@__V1_SX214_AL_Not at all magical creature or Halloween related, but super creepy.   This show is not for the faint-hearted and can be pretty gruesome.  It is a great show though and based on the book series.  It is incredibly different than the books though, characters are killed off in the movie that are not in the books and vice-versa.  It is pretty different so even if you read the books, it does not mean you know what is going to happen.  I can’t wait for the next season though.  I mean who doesn’t love dragons right?!?!

Do you prefer the book or the movie?  What do you think of all the changes made between the two?

 

 

 


There you have it, my Top 5 TV Shows to Get you in the Halloween Spirit!  Am I missing any?  What are you watching to get in the Halloween spirit? Please comment below and let me know!

Witches, vampires, zombies, and dragons oh my! Try out these Top 5 TV Shows to Get you in the… Click To Tweet

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Only a little over one week to go until Halloween!  Are you ready?

Top 5 TV Shows to Get you in the Halloween Spirit - This is the perfect time of year to watch some magical shows, perhaps a little scary to get you in the Halloween spirit.

 

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