Monday, August 28, 2017

Slip'N'Slide in Your Clothes

My kids keep talking about that time we played on the Slip'N'Slide in our clothes.  So, today's blogpost is a throwback to a few years ago.

Our air conditioner was broken. It was over 90 degrees and our house was over 100 degrees.  We looked at each other and decided to cool off with the slip'n'slide in our clothes.  Totally random thing that our kids absolutely loved.

Get out and enjoy those last days of summer!

Don't be afraid to be spontaneous, kids love the random surprises.  Be the fun Mom!

These are the moments that become forever memories!

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Yardzee & Yarkle

We love playing games and spending time outside with a family.  I have been wanting to make a set of yard dice for a long time, and finally got around to it.  I am so excited to make extra sets for my family.  Other than being time consuming, they were fairly easy to make.  Right now I just have the Yardzee and Yarkle directions in my bucket, but I plan on adding other dice game rules in the future.

Here's how I made mine:
(Or you can just buy one on AMAZON here)

I traced these dice shapes onto my silhouette and cut them out.

I bought this VERSA TOOL for my husband for Christmas.  I thought he could do some wood-burnings, and we could also use it to decorate some foam pumpkins for Halloween.

One of the tips the VERSA TOOL came with is a circle shape. 
It is exactly the same size as the dice circles I cut out. 

I cut up a 10 ft. 4X4 into cube shapes.  Obviously, there were more cubes then I needed, but I wanted to make a few sets for gifts.  Remember just because they are called 4X4 they are actually a little smaller, so measure them before you cut to get exact cubes.  After you cut them, give them a good sanding.  I used this hand sander, but you can use whatever sanding method you want.  I paid special attention to the cut edges, I wanted all edges to match.  For Yarkle you will need six dice, but if you are only making a Yardzee game, you only need five dice.

I traced the dice circles onto the cubes.

You can either paint your circles, vinyl them, drill them, use a sharpie marker and color them in, or burn them.

I heated up the VERSA TOOL on the highest setting.  I applied the circle tip to the wood for about 10 seconds.  I found sometimes that was too much and sometimes I needed to hold it for up to 30 seconds.  I recommend doing this outside.  It does have a little smoke and smoky smell.

After I burned all the circles on the dice, I wanted to protect them with polyurethane.  I put 6 coats on.  I was easy to get all the coats right, because I turned them all to one.  Then, the second coat I turned all the dice to two and so on.

I found these cute score sheets. There are tons of other ones online, but these are my favorite.

I laminated my score sheets with my personal laminator.  This will make it easier to reuse them with either a wet erase or dry erase marker.  I personally like wet erase better.  You can easily clean them with a baby wipe for wet or tissue for dry erase.

I used the same design on the top of the score sheets for the bucket label.  I traced it into my silhouette machine, enlarged it, and cut out onto Oracal 651 vinyl.

I wanted a good size bucket to hold my set.  The 2 gallon size was just a little to small, so I went with the 5 gallon size.  I love the size to house the game, and it came with a lid, but it was a little large to use when rolling the dice.  You can use any bucket or pail the dice will fit in.

I included a calculator, game directions, scorecards, and markers inside my bucket.

My poor dice did get a little dinged up when we played the game, but it was a lot of fun. 
Just think of it as the are now rustic. 

Hope you have a lot of fun getting outside for a some family time.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Great American Solar Eclipse

We are so excited to get a chance to see the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.  It will be making it's way across the United States.  They are predicting millions of Americans to travel to total eclipse sites.  Needless to say if you decide to travel you might consider taking along extra food, fuel, and water.  Many communities are in fear of running out of basic supplies.   I wouldn't recommend traveling the day of, because the traffic could be at a standstill and you risk missing the eclipse all together. 

Some areas will be a total eclipse and some a partial eclipse.  Either way if you plan on watching the moon move in front of the sun you will need special glasses.  Sunglasses are not enough protection.

You want to make sure your solar glasses protection has an ISO 12312-2 which is the international safety standard.  There are reports of many online vendors selling fake glasses, so be careful where and who you purchase them through.  Here is a  list of AAS approved vendors.  We purchased Explore Scientific (Solar Eclipse Sun Catcher Glasses) from Kroger for $.99 each. I have also seen them at Lowes for $1.99.  They are a lot more expensive online and are selling out fast.  Don't wait until the last minute or you might not be able to find glasses.  If you procrastinated and were unable to get solar glasses, you can try the pin hole projection method.

If you are in a total eclipse area be prepared for the weather to feel cooler, darkness, and the animals to go quiet.  It should be a quite spectacular experience.

Check out NASA's WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? AND HOW? for all your Great American Eclipse questions, path of the eclipse, and safety guidelines.

Don't miss the chance of a lifetime to see a total solar eclipse!

If you have any special tips,
leave us a comment below.

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