Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spider with Egg Sack

We went to the Creepy Crawlies Nature Event last week with some friends. For part of the time everyone went bug collecting and my friend Rachel picked up this spider with her egg sack still attached for ER. I'd never seen a spider's egg sack before, it was kind of irridescent and neat to see. I thought some of you might be interested in seeing it too.

Part of Wordless Wednesday at: Five Minutes for Mom, Go Graham Go, Two of a Kind Working on a Full House and Wordful Wednesday at Seven Clown Circus.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review & Giveaway! Madeline's Great Adventures DVD

Madeline's Great Adventures come to stores on DVD today! It was a big hit at our house and I know your little fan of the dozen delightful girls who live in an old house in Paris covered with vines will love it too.

Product Description:

Join little Madeline, her loyal canine companion Genevieve, puckish next-door neighbor Pepito and her 11 delightful classmates from Miss Clavel’s Parisian school when Shout! Factory releases Madeline’s Great Adventures on June 29. Sit back, gasp and laugh as Madeline and her friends encounter royalty and pirates in this animated, fun-filled DVD. A must-have for Madeline fans and DVD collectors.

Watch as Madeline and friends encounter their very own Arabian lamp, a visit from the Prince of Monaco, a band of pirates and even track down 40 charitable thieves in Madeline’s Great Adventures. Inspired by the beloved classic books that introduced us to a dozen delightful girls who live in an old house in Paris covered with vines, Madeline’s Great Adventures is full of spirited fun and is sure to win your heart while providing hours of entertainment.

Madeline's Great Adventures retails for $12.99. You can see a short preview clip, via these links:

Here is a free Madeline coloring page, click to download, to get your little one in the mood for the new DVD!

Unlike the last Madeline movie we reviewed, which was a little bit scary for ER, this one she really enjoyed from the first viewing. The stories are noticeably more light hearted. Also, this DVD consists of several shorter stories instead of one long movie. We can watch one or two in between other activities. Plus in one story the little girls have a run in with the Prince of Monaco, my little princess in training had her eyes glued on the television. Madeline fans won't be disappointed, Madeline's Great Adventure on DVD really creates a book come to life feel.

Madeline's Great Adventures hits the stores today but one of my readers will win a copy!

To Enter:
Tell me your favorite storybook character or favorite Madeline story.

Extra Entries:
  • Publically follow my blog, using Google Friends Connect.
  • Subscribe to my blog via email.
  • Add my blog to your Facebook "Likes"
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway using @KTnestingspot
  • Post about or provide a text link to this giveaway on your blog or site. Leave me a link.
  • Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post, then tell me which post it's on here.

Giveaway open to US residents now through July 13th midnight EST. Make sure I have a way to contact you, if you win.


Disclaimer: Thank you to Shout!Factory for the reviewers and giveaway copies of the DVD. This post relates my own personal and unbiased opinion and yours may differ.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sand Castle Photo Album Mini Book

I have been in love with photo album scrapbooks since the first moment I saw the concept in an issue of Simple Scrapbooks Magazine. It gave me a measure of freedom from the piles of pictures I have in my "to be scrapped" box. Now I can highlight a few on a layout but still do something special, but most importantly QUICK, with the rest.
When I saw this darling Sand Castle Scrapbook in the August 2009 issue of Family Fun Magazine that I knew it would be the perfect embellishement for the cover. I didn't realize just how literal my scraplift would be until I noticed I had the same K&Company line as used in the example.
To resize the castle template for a 4X6 plastic photo album, I opened the PDF file. When the printer dialog box opened I looked under the heading "Page Handling" then "Page Scaling" and picked the setting "Multiple pages per sheet". This automatically resized them for me, although depending on which programs your computer uses, your method might be different.
The album is one of those 1UP books with plastic sleeves that are readily available at most stores like Target and cost about two dollars. Most of the journaling is done on the first page and the rest is on vellum so the pretty patterned paper would still show through. I am in love with the soft colors of the Meadow & Breeze line, and it was great being able to use up even the tiniest scraps for this project.
To plan out the book I picked my photos, cropped a few, and filled in the rest of the 4X6 space with paper scraps and travel themed stickers. I tried not to over think things and use mainly low profile embellishments. There is a lot of satisfaction getting a project started and done in a night. Plus now ER has something her little hands can flip through and that Mommy doesn't have to worry about her ripping or tearing.
This book is easy to make, so if you've been wanting to give scrapbooking a try this is a great first project. For a basic one, all you would need is 2-3 pieces of scrapbook paper and a package of stickers to match your theme. For the experienced scrapper, they're still fun projects because you can create one entirely out of stash items.

Linked Up At:
Sumo Sweet StuffMakingThe Girl CreativeKeeping It Simple

Tots Travel Too Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered; it was great getting so many tips for traveling! There were lots of great ones, several ladies suggested making sure you have lots of snacks, travel at night, and ways to keep your child occupied.

There were so many good ones, I wish we could have more than one winner. Since we can't though, congratulations to Stephanie, comment #16 who submitted suggestion:
Another travel tip I've learned is to have a running list for every trip. We have a list saved on our computer that we print out before every trip and we go over it several times before heading out the door to make sure we don't forget anything. We write everything on the list from our toddler's favorite stuffed animal to diapers and wipes.
To find Stephanies and everyone else's tips for traveling along with many others check out the Marriott Tots Travel Too Circle on The Motherhood.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Fun: Reaching New Heights

Last week we went to a new playground for the first time and ER was immediately drawn to this rope climbing structure, like usual. Takes after her Daddy in that! They are both climbers, I prefer both feet on the ground.
She wasn't satisfied until she'd mastered it and could get almost to the top. She would've gone all the way, only Mommy wouldn't let her. What new adventures have you had lately?


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Go Ahead Let Loose

ER has a birthday party for one of her little friends today. I made this card for her to give along with a gift. On the left inside is a picture ER drew and on the right it says:

Hip Hip Hooray!
Today is your 4th birthday
Fun and games galore
And toys by the score
Here's a wish that today...
Is the best in every
which way!

Happy Birthday to our
Favorite Fantastic Four Year Old!

Love, ER

The elephant and sentiment are chipboard and everything but the eyelets and cardstock base are from a kit I bought a few years ago on QVC. Cards are not my forté; I'm not sure if I like how this came out. The top right looks a little empty, I added the eyelets to try and fill in but I don't think it worked. Maybe I should've used a patterned paper base and a solid color paper where I mounted the elephant. What do you think? Feedback?


Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Fun: Slip and Slide

I can't get over how big ER looks in this picture! She looks so mature and grown up! Good thing I know only a little bit ago, this is what we'd been having fun doing!
Slip and slide fun at Grammy and Papa's! This is not the old yellow version from my childhood by any means. Shooting water, a big basin of water, and bright pink color with everyone's favorite cartoon character mean that everything's been updated!
Now if only ER could figure out how to actually slip and slide on it, LOL! She certainly had a lot of fun crawling down and running around and around so that's all that matters. Maybe it's for the best she can't yet, do you remember coming home from a long day on the slip and slide with a sore tummy from flopping yourself down on it? I sure do!

Later on she got her towel all wet by dunking it in the pool at the end. Then she tried to put it on each of us and used it to "clean" Grammy's feet. For those of you now wondering, Grammy's feet were clean and her toe nails nicely polished so she wasn't trying to send a message or anything.
I never finished sharing the Father's Day pictures from last weekend. Here is ER and my Dad, whom she calls Papa, in my parents' back garden.
My mom and ER on their deck and one with Uncle Dave on our way out. She's doing a dance pose, ever since the recital pictures she wants to be a ballerina everytime I pick up the camera. Have a great weekend! ER and I are going to be very busy if all goes to plan, with a birthday party, kindergarten graduation, and a church picnic. Brad is planning on adding vents to the basement plans he's drawing up so he'll be missing a lot of it.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

P is for Princess Pigtoria and the Pea

My new favorite book for teaching the alphabet and specifically letter P is Princess Pigtoria and the Pea by Pamela Duncan Edwards, illustrated by Henry Cole.

Based on the classic tale, The Princess and the Pea it's a great teaching tool. The alliteration is plentiful and makes it a fun silly read. The entire storyline is infused with P word after P word giving teachers plenty of opportunities to stress the beginning sound while reading, example:

Presently, Pigtoria stood in the portal of Prince Proudfoot's palace. She pounded on the door. A page led her into the presence of the prince.

Book Description: Poor Princess Pigtoria heads off to see if Prince Proudfoot of Porksville will propose and help make her palace pretty again. The prince ends up being a pompous porker, a partner Pigtoria can do without. She prefers Percy-the-Pizza-Pig. They marry and open a chain of profitable pizza palors and paint Pigtoria's palace. Everyone ends up perfectly happy even Prince Proudfoot.

Letter P ideas to use with the book:
  • Give students a letter P die cut, have them hold it up each time they hear a P word.
  • Take turns having a student stand by the whiteboard and make a tally mark each time a letter P word is said. Count them all up at the end.
  • Photocopy a page of the book or type out the text and enlarge. Have students highlight or circle the letter P every time they encounter it. While this might technically be copyright infringement, I think most children's authors would be pleased to have their work used to help educate. As long as only one page is used and it's not for commercial gain it's probably okay.
  • Make a letter P book and have students choose five letter P words to copy and illustrate.
  • Have students write a letter sentence or two with as many P words as they can and still have it make sense or let them make silly letter P sentences and illustrate.
  • Take the sentence from the activity above, type and print out, and then attach to a pig art project (like the one below☺)
  • Make a paper plate pizza with as many letter P toppings as you can think of. Write what's on your pizza on a piece of paper and staple below.
  • Plate of P Foods, if you were at the party with Pigtoria and Percy what letter P foods would you have? Cut our magazine pictures or draw them onto a plate, be sure to label them to get some handwriting practice in!
Pretty simple, my kindergarten students used to really like them and it engaged their active listening skills. Many of the ideas are easily adaptable for any letter of the week book.

Now onto the perfect book related craft, a Paper Plate Pink Princess Pigtoria Pig, try saying that ten times super fast, to go along with our book. Here's a quick how to: Paint two paper plates, a dinner and dessert sized one. Stack on top of each other, as shown above.
To keep this craft as mess free as possible, I used my new mini glue dots. They come in a handy rolling dispenser! Did you know they came this way? They're my new favorite☺ You can learn more about Glue Dots on their Facebook Fan Page. Cut four legs, two triangles for ears and a circle for a nose out of pink paper. I freehanded these and if ER was a little older I'd have let her cut them out. Right now we're still working on straight lines so I didn't want to frustrate her.
We used bigger glue dots, the kind on the individual sheets to attach each. Remove the clear backing, press down onto your paper, rub in, and the peel off the mounting paper. I've been in love with these ever since I saw our librarian use them for craft at storytime. She loves them because huge amounts of kiddos can came through and make foam crafts without any mess. They are great for foam crafts, white school glue doesn't usually work too well with those.

I use them mainly for scrapbooking and papercrafts. They are the easiest way to adhere things like metal accents, ribbon, and other bulky embellishments to layouts and projects. I am never without them on hand.These are the half inch size and while it took a few tries for ER to get the backing off, she's now an expert. We also used the mini glue dots to attach the wiggly eyes.Now you have a cute pink paper plate pig, but she's not a princess yet! She's missing a few important things don't you think?Now that's better! Don't forget Princess Pigtoria's crown, little curly pipe cleaner tail, and nostrils for her nose.

A Summer Bonding Project with Glue Dots and Shared At:
abc button


Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Glue Dots blogging contest to be eligible to receive a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here. While the Glue Dots used in this project were provided to me, I have and continue to use and purchase them myself.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Part 2: Seventh Generation Project Laundry Line, 30 Days and GIVEAWAY

As you know from my previous post and vlog, we accepted the 30 day challenge to use Seventh Generation's Natural 2X Concentrated Laundry Liquid and line dry our clothes. What a challenge it has been, indeed! While washing on cold and using their laundry liquid were easy, we'd already made the switch to cold, planning for the time to air dry them wasn't. It continued to be a challenge the whole time. We never did find a way around it. Find out more about how it went, by clicking on the video below.

So while we won't be line drying our clothes full time, we have decided we'd like to begin incorporating it into our routine. I think even a small change, like line drying every third load, will help a lot. I just don't see how I can pull doing a load every day long term. Now if only I could figure out a way to make the clothes that are line dried a little softer.
Here are some more facts I learned about while participating in the Seventh Generation Project Laundry Line. All are encouraging reasons why we should make line drying a regular part of our laundry routine.
  • 90% of the energy used when washing clothes is used for heating the water.
  • Approximately 23.8 billion pounds of clothing and textiles end up in U.S. landfills each year
  • The average household can save up to $25 per month off electric bill by line drying.
  • Sunlight bleaches and disinfects
  • Approximately one quarter of Americans use an ENERGY STAR washer. There are no ENERGY STAR dryers on the market.
  • Indoor drying racks can humidify in dry winter weather.
  • Seventh Generation 2X Concentrate Liquid Laundry Detergent is specially formulated to remove soil and stains in cold water, and reduces CO2 emissions.
  • Getting out of hot water can save you money—as much as $70/year on your energy bill.
  • Laundry that's cold water washed and line dried lasts longer, helping to protect the environment and your wallet.
  • Cold water washing and line drying helps conserve energy and the environment, while reducing climate change.
  • If Americans air dried their clothing for 10 months out of the year, we could avoid 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
  • If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 100 ox. 2x ultra petroleum-based liquid laundry detergent with our 100 oz. 2x ultra plant derived product, we could save 466,000 barrels of oil, enough to heat and cool 26,800 U.S. holes for a year.
  • 60 million Americans live in approximately 300,000 community associations. The majority of these restrict or ban the clothesline.
  • You can reduce the full lifecycle climate change impact of your jeans by up to 50 percent by line drying and washing them in cold water.
  • Conventional detergents contain polluting surfactants like alkylphenol ethoxylates, or APEs. Natural laundry products use safe, biodegradable ingredients such as vegetable oils.

Win a Seventh Generation “Project Laundry Line” kit that includes Seventh Generation Natural 2x Concentrated Laundry Liquid (good for 66 loads of laundry), portable laundry line, clothes pins, and laundry basket. Just like you saw with me in the video above.

To Enter:

Share with me your memories of line drying {or} tell me what household changes you've made to be more eco-friendly.

Extra Entries:

Giveaway open to US residents now through July 8th midnight EST. Good luck and please make sure I have a way to contact you, if you win.


Disclosure: Seventh Generation provided me with the free product, gift pack, and giveaway through MyBlogSpark as well as with a Flip Camera to enable me to make this vlog. This vlog presents my own unbiased opinions and experiences with the product and challenge.

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