Here's a quick and easy way to let your kids countdown to Halloween!
Halloween Paper Chain
stapler or tape
Cut 2" strips of paper in the color of your choice. We used yellow, black, purple and orange.
Staple or tape the pieces together to make a chain.
As each day goes by, you can remove a link or put a sticker on each link as you countdown to the last.
If you opt for the sticker option, you can use your chain as a fun garland :)
** I originally spotted this Halloween Paper Chain idea at Tinkerlab. For more inspiration visit Marie at Makes & Takes, I love her idea for a Witch and Pumpkin Countdown chain! I saw it after we already made ours.
Sophie also has her own calendar, and is counting down the days by marking each day up until Halloween! She's excited!
Gardening is in our blood! We didn't even realize just how much we'd love it. This is our second year, and we're ready to expand for next year.
Loading our back hatch with tons of veggies? Priceless.
We've also learned a quick cure for flea beetles, which are small beetles that like to dine on just about everything in your garden.. especially when your plants are at their most vulnerable seedling stage. They are called flea beetles because they jump. We thought we'd might lose most of our green bean seedlings, but fortunately we found a "cure."
I mixed up essential oils of neem, peppermint and oregano into a spray bottle with water. I only had to re-apply a few times before the flea beetles were gone.
Our green bean plants are now hardy and producing a bounty for us.
I planted two varieties of green beans, one called Blue Lake. It's one of our favorites. The beans inside are grayish purple, and the taste - from the pod to the bean - is buttery and rich. (Once steamed, we eat them with sea salt and coconut oil).
Our tomato plants are lacking a bit this year. They are taking longer to ripen, which I've heard could be contributed to the hotter temperatures this summer.
But when they ripen, they are very tasty. Especially these sun gold cherry tomatoes.
We love that our meals are consisting of mostly vegetables we're growing in our garden!
One of the local natural food markets in our area, Alfalfa's, stocks organic plantains. I told the produce manager to please keep them in! We purchase a huge stack basically every week. And every single time, someone notices them in our cart and asks us how we cook them. I've had conversations with strangers, just about plantains, how to cook them, how to know when their ripe and what to season them with.
Maybe I should keep index cards of this recipe and hand it out.
Perhaps we've already inspired some of our fellow shoppers to cook plantains. That is, if there's any left after we raid the produce section.
makes about 25
no: eggs, dairy, gluten, grains, soy, tree nuts, sesame
3-4 Plantains (ripe ripe ripe)
1 Yellow onion, diced
You want to use pretty ripe plantains, that are starting to become soft.
After working in our garden, I have dirt in my finger nails, dirt in my pockets, and a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. My husband and I feel like we're creating a strong foundation for our daughter.
We watch her picking weeds, searching for bugs, sampling the cherry tomatoes we're growing and we know that she's learning what life really means.
She's learning invaluable lessons; how to grow food, how to be nourished by hard work and that there's nothing wrong with getting your hands dirty!
Since our last post, our seeds have sprouted and grown! So far we have harvested zucchini, chives, swiss chard, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.
On those really hot days, we work in our garden later in the day - around 5 pm - accompanied by a nice cool breeze. As a result, we have seen some lovely sunsets.
Sophie has turned out to be an excellent helper in the garden.
Here are a few tips on gardening with kids:
1) Provide kid-size garden tools (shovel, hoe, rake)
2) Bring lots of snacks and water to drink
3) Pack a backpack with activities (books, drawing supplies, doodle pro)
We also bought Sophie a little bug examiner container. It has a magnifying glass, so she can gently put the bug inside and have a look. Then we let it back into the garden where it belongs.
So far we've examined earth worms, various beetles, a cricket, a grass hopper and an earwig.
One of Sophie's favorite parts of gardening is to help plant the seeds... and then of course, to harvest the fruits of our labor.
Do you garden with your kids? Share if you have any tips on gardening - with kids or not. :)
Our 4th of July included more pie (this time apricot banana) and these special firecrackers that I made for Sophie.
We live in Colorado where some of the fires have been, so needless to say all of the firework shows were canceled. So what better thing to do than improvise! I had everything on hand to make these faux fireworks, except for a few fun things to stuff them with.
So I went to our local toy store and purchased a few things (the total was under $5). I picked out some cute japanese erasers and two plastic figurines (an effiel tower because Sophie wants to go to Paris someday, and a statue of liberty.. which seemed fitting for the 4th of July!).
I also had some St. Claires organic candy pastilles on hand, so I wrapped a few in tissue paper (so they won't roll around inside the firecrackers).
Then I gathered my supplies. These came together really quick -- a quick project that could be used for New Years, Birthdays or just because!
Double sided tape (you could also use a glue stick, a glue gun or glue dots)
Toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes cut in half
Treats for filling (stickers, erasers, organic candy, coins, etc)
For each firecracker, you want to use 2-3 layers of tissue paper cut into 10x10 squares.
Place the paper tube about half way between the tissue paper, but so there's slightly more tissue paper on one end (this will be the top part).
Using the double sided tape, roll the paper tubes around the issue paper securing it as you go.
Take a small piece of pipe cleaner and twist one end of the tissue paper to secure it. (see photo above)
Tuck in that end, this will be the bottom end of the firecracker.
Turn the firecracker upright and add your treats.
Twist the top piece of tissue paper and use a long pipe cleaner stem to secure.
I twisted my pipe cleaner around a pencil to make it squiggly.
Add stickers, decorative washi tape, ribbon or whatever you would like.