Take It Outside ~ Obstacle Course

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dragonfly Designs
It is day two of Take It Outside! 
Whoop! Whoop!

I am pleased to welcome Margaret, 
who is sharing her very creative obstacle course with us.  Take it away Margaret!
Hi! I'm Margaret from Chica es Artistica! 
I'm a teen blogger who loves to sew, create, and cook. 

I'm so excited to be a part of Take it Outside!

I've pretty much spent my childhood barefoot, running around outside.

Today I'm going to be sharing a great way to get outside with your kids! It's an obstacle course for the young and the young at heart.  My sister and I used to make obstacle courses all the time when we were little. We even taught the dog how to jump over things which probably wasn't the best idea when she started being able to steal dinner off the counter.

Anyways, first you're going to need a nice, clear space. It doesn't have to be very big just big enough to fit in a few items.

Gather simple, household supplies. I like to use things like traffic cones, balls, jump ropes, lawn chairs, buckets and brooms. Basically anything you can find in your garage works!

 You can set up simple "hurdles" to work on jumping skills. Buckets, chairs, or anything similar with something long and skinny like a dowel or broom made a great jump.

A lawn chair or something similar is great for crawling under.

It's great to mix things up and use something like a hurdle, a lawn chair to crawl under, and another hurdle.

 Another great thing to add in are balls. You can use basket balls, footballs, or anything. For a soccer ball, you can have the child kick the ball a certain distance to work on hand-foot coordination. For a smaller ball, they could try and throw it into a laundry basket before they can continue on.

For older kids, jump ropes are great. They can do a certain number of jumps before they continue on.

My sister is 11 and still has a great time doing this!

A stop watch could be used for those with a competitive edge. For groups you could turn it into a relay.

Thanks for having me and hopefully everyone has a great summer!


Thank you so much for sharing Margaret!  This brings back memories of my childhood as well, I used to create elaborate obstacle courses for my younger siblings all the time.  What fun!

Stay tuned for more Take It Outside all week long!

xo Heather

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Take It Outside ~ Bug Collecting

Monday, July 30, 2012

Welcome to day one of...

Dragonfly Designs

Join us all week for some great ideas and activities
geared at keeping our boys busy outside this summer!

Today I am sharing an activity that my boys have always loved
Bug Collecting!
Our backyard abounds with creepy crawlies.  Especially these crawlies...er slimies?  Cameron and Isaiah are continually making new friends out of the multitudes of snails hidden in our garden.  And while technically snails are not insects at all but part of the mollusk family, they are still fun to collect.
Bug Collecting is a great activity for boys of all ages. 
 I think that the creepy, crawly gross factor grabs the attention of most boys ~ especially if there is a little sister or cousin around to scare.
I found some simple, little bug boxes at Dollerama.  The boys loved the idea of having a home for their "pets".  They have also used; egg cartons, little tyke wagons, cups and flip flops as bug homes....  bug boxes were definitely an upgrade {and a relief as I no longer have to wash bug goo off of flip flops}!
Here are some cute Bug Box tutorials:
This little guy christened Isaiah's bug box and he promptly wanted to invite his new eight legged friend inside.  Momma said that under no circumstances would his pet spider be allowed in the house.  He is still trying to negotiate.
I have to say that snails are my favorite little guys.  They don't have as many legs as the rest of the creepy crawlies. :P
Butterflies are pretty cool too although I caution the boys to look but not to touch these fragile insects.
Isaiah likes to bring these little guys in the house.  I've learned not to be surprised when I see him with a few snails crawling on his arms and hands.  Hey, at least its not a spider!
It would be fun to make bug collecting into a game or scavenger hunt for the older kids.  How many praying mantis' can you collect? :D
Can you spot the bug?

Have you been Taking It Outside?  Please share!

And be sure to join us tomorrow for a fabulous Guest Post!

xo Heather

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Keeping It Real ~ Family

Saturday, July 28, 2012

We are loving time spent with family this summer!

"Family isn't always blood.  It's the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are.  The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what."

This quote is especially meaningful to us as we welcome disadvantaged children into our home and for however long they are with us and forever after ~ they too, become part of our family.

I hope that you are enjoying time with your loved ones too!

xo Heather

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Grilled Vegetables

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hey peeps!
How's it going?  I feel like summer is flying by!  
We've been grilling up some good eats though and these vegetables are no exception.

I bought some lovely vegetables at the Farmer's Market the other day.  These young carrots and fresh beats were just calling out to be grilled.  I love grilling things on the bar-b-que this time of year.  It can get so hot inside the house that I would hate to turn the oven on or turn our air conditioner up.  Besides, grilling adds a depth of flavor to any meal.

 Start by peeling the carrots and beats.  Slice the beats about 1/4" thick.  Use caution as the beat juice will stain pretty much anything.  Then drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Place on a grill preheated to medium and cook for about 8 minutes before turning the vegetables and cooking for another 8 minutes on the other side.

Voila!  The perfect side dish to any summer meal.
xo Heather

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Raspberry White Chocolate Ganache Wedding Cake

Monday, July 23, 2012

We had the pleasure of welcoming Nicole into the family on the weekend.  She married my Uncle Tom in a lovely ceremony followed by a fabulous reception.  
The happy couple asked me to create a wedding cake for them.
This Raspberry White Chocolate Ganache cake tasted even better than it looked.
I made a three tier, white pound cake.  It was really moist and rich.  
I used apple sauce instead of oil in the recipe.
The entire cake was covered in white butter cream frosting.  I would have liked to use fondant but simply ran out of time and confidence.  I've only worked with fondant once.
The flowers were made out of tissue paper.  I cut out four layers for each flower and glued them to toothpicks.  I really like the delicate look that they give the cake.  I poked the flowers into the cake just before the cake was to be served and viewed.
The wedding day turned out to be a scorcher and my icing was actually melting on the way to the hall.  The flowers helped to hide a few of the trouble spots.
 Each layer had a raspberry, white chocolate ganache filling.  It took a bit of experimenting to get the right consistency.  I spread out a layer of raspberry pie filling then topped with a layer of white chocolate ganache.  My chocolate to cream ratio was 250 g white chocolate to 1/2 cup of whipping cream.  I found a great article at the Big Bake Theory {love the blog name} that was super helpful.
 I was happy with this simple, pretty cake.
 And got rave reviews on the taste! Yum.
The gorgeous couple, cutting the cake.
Welcome to the family Aunt Nicole!

xo Heather

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Keeping It Real ~ Visiting Vancouver Island

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We took a week of holidays at the beginning of July to visit family who live on the Island.  

I have to say that it was awesome!

I absolutely love road trips; I love the beautiful scenery, the sense of adventure, the one on one time with family... it is all pretty great.  And it doesn't hurt that we have kids who are good little travellers.
We spent most of our time at the various beaches ~ Miracle Beach was a favorite.  The boys loved watching the tide come in and out and searching for all sorts of sea life.
The fresh fish and chips were to die for!  So Good!  We made sure to stop at Pajo's in Steveston.
We explored a few local trails and were in awe of the giant cedar trees.  Here's Darcy and the boys at Elk Falls.
Deer were everywhere!  Along the highway, on the golf courses and even down by the beach!
We also stopped by the Vancouver Aquarium on the way home. The boys are at the perfect age to really start discovering, remembering and questioning everything.  Isaiah now wants a pet frog, snake and penguin.  

I loved this trip and can't wait for the next one! 

Thanks for following my blog ~ stay tuned for more summer adventures.

xo Heather

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