Monday, August 31, 2015

Doctor Who and 32!

My hubby's birthdays are always difficult to celebrate because he is not into "birthdays". It drives me nuts because I am very into them! I love celebrating in general but when its time to celebrate a birthday I get even more excited. I want to show that person how glad I am that they were obviously he makes me so frustrated every August 23rd.This year I let him plan a spontaneous trip to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, specifically Cape Charles. I posted a blog post about it that you can check out HERE. I also wanted to throw a small party for just him, Seri, and I. I wanted to make it Doctor Who themed and give us a chance to share with Seri one of the things he is really into. So here's what we did...

For decorating we went with a blue and white theme to represent the Tardis. Not a Dr. Who fan? Then scroll down and you will see the Blue and white Police box...that is the Tardis. I also found some round hanging decorations and decided to use those for the "round things" that are always on the walls of the Tardis interior.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

~*~Street Art & Diner Food ~*~

Recently we took a trip into Norfolk and I finally got to do what I have been wanting to for a very very long time! We took a stroll in the street art part of town. I have always wanted a closer look and a chance to take a few photos of these quirky and cool pieces. Now that I have I can not wait to share them!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Exploring Virginia: A Cape Charles Expedition~~~

For my husband's 32nd birthday I went along with him on a spontaneous car the past this would have been impossible. I like to plan and chart a course. In the past I would be anxious and tense but now I feel more at ease. I enjoyed the suddenness and unexpectedness of the trip, and that really surprised me. Time goes by and as a person you change. As you experience new things you yearn to do so again and again.All three of us started off on this short vacay eager to have an adventure and we sure did!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Slow Down

When summer first begins I am always excited to have my little girl around. I start planning what we should do and love spending so much time with her day to day. By the end of the summer my patience has dwindled down to its lowest and my energy has run out. I know that most parents think the same. We all have a limit.

I have finally become that stereotypical parent that jumps for joy at the mention of school starting! Not because I hate or can't stand my kid, I feel nothing but overwhelming love for her. Its because I need a break. I need to have moments of silence in a house that is usually filled to the brim with questions, chatter, and yelling. For an only child Serenity makes up for the lack of other kids. Yes, her name is Serenity yet she has very few serene moments! She is energetic, smart, and, wants me to participate in all she does. This makes for a full day and me being worn out.

It is now only 18 days until school starts. I have to muster the strength to finish strong and give her a great ending to this summer, but all I really want to do is drink tea and nap. I know my time will come! As my past blogging schedule shows, we have been doing so much that I was posting things everyday. I can't keep that up! It must slow down as it should...everything gets harder the longer you do it. Unless you take a minute to recover. I need a summer recovery period...

I will push through my fatigue and continue this summer with good memories and happy moments...then rejoice with the school bus's arrival! Then of course after the first week I will be in tears because I miss my lovey so very much!

For all you creative and exhausted moms out is almost upon...not long now we can do it!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Crafts: S is for Serenity!

Last time: Tie Dye Shirts

Serenity is slowly decorating her room with what she deems suitable. As she gets older I know that things she treasured in the past might not be necessary for her when she is older. So I wanted to come up with a craft that she could do that would give her some creative freedom and help her explore her personality. I bought a large wooden S to stand for Serenity and I let her paint and design it according to who she thought she was. "What describes you Seri," I asked her. This S should let others know who you are. Blue and pink paint and a gazillion hearts, sparkles, and stars later we have a finished product!! It will be placed in her room and she can display it with pride.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Summer Crafts: Tie Dye Shirts!

Next: S for Serenity!

Summer is drawing to a close soon and some parts of the country are already going back to school! We luckily have until September! With all this vacation time left I have to push myself to find new ways to engage and entertain this hyperactive little seven year old. One day as I was browsing through the store I saw a tie die shirt kit on sale. I knew that this was a perfect project for Seri. Serenity loves being creative, artistic, and most of all.....messy! She went nuts with the paint and created a very unique design! She also made a shirt for one of her best buddies, Tristen! Its easy to find kits and the one we recommend is the Tulip brand! The shirts turn out very colorful and the kits are very easy to use! Here is a look at the process and result!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 5: Demographics, National Symbols, and Weather

Last post: Customs and Holidays

We have been very preoccupied the last few days so this post is a bit late...sorry!!!! Been dealing with some stuff and got behind a tad but here is the last post for Mexican Week!

Mexico is almost three times the size of Texas coming in at around 758,449 square miles. The population is around 120,286,655. The most populated city in Mexico is its capital Mexico surprise there, right?The main language spoken in Mexico is Spanish but they also have some areas of this country where native tongues, for certain regions, are used. The Mexican Peso is this countries currency and 1 peso equals about $0.61 cents in US dollars.The Mexican government has an executive, legislative, and judicial branch this makes their federal government very similar to America. They even have a President acting as head of state.

As with quite a lot of countries, Mexico values the eagle as a strong symbol. Its coat of arms features a golden eagle a top a prickly cactus while devouring a snake. This can be seen in many different lights. It can be seen as a fight between good and evil, something of religious connotations for the local people, or even a battle to balance while conflict occurs. Whatever the ideology behind the making of this symbol it is used as the coat of arms for the Mexican government, it has been placed upon the flag, and has even been used on currency.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Science with Serenity: Geology...Crystal Mining

Serenity was dead set on getting this crystal mining kit from Amazon. Little did I know that this kit would be so INCREDIBLY MESSY! Its okay...she had fun...she was happy and occupied for over 20 mins straight...and she got some pretty crystals out of it. Look away now clean freaks and anyone suffering from OCD. This is gonna cause you have been warned!

Now to give my blog over to Seri....

Saturday, August 8, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 4: Customs and Holidays

Yesterday: Food and Fashion

Today we are learning about Mexican customs, traditions, and holidays. Mexico has a rich cultural heritage with many unique traditions and holidays. The Mexican people are very diverse having multiple cultures coming together and interacting in their society. Some of the most known customs and traditions for this society relate to the Mexican people's devotion to family and religion.

Hosting get togethers for family and extended friends is a big part of Mexican culture, as well as, making sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. The needs of the family always come first over the individuals wants in Mexican family units and there is usually a lot of family to accommodate. No matter the burden or difficulty, Mexican families stick together and do everything for one another. It is a very beautiful thing, in my opinion. Here in America we sometimes have this dynamic but sometimes families are fractured and distant with one another. It is interesting to me how different cultures can truly be yet also similar in many ways.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 3: Food and Fashion

Yesterday: Entertainment and Sports

Today we watched a few videos showcasing Mexican food and fashion. We also made some fresh salsa! When we think of Mexican fashion here in the states we think of sombreros, bold colors, and shawls! I wanted to show Serenity what true Mexican fashion looked like and I feel that the videos I have found can do that! Most countries share a similar plain clothes style of jeans, T-shirts, and light weight materials but each country also has its cultural clothing and traditional fashion. Mexico has a unique style fit for hot temperatures and festive activities. Here's a look at what we went over.

Traditional Mexican Cuisine

What we included in our salsa recipe:
  • Tomatoes (diced)
  • Garlic (minced
  • Onion 
  • Cilantro (minced)
  • Lime Juice
  • Pinch of Cumin
  • Pinch of Salt

Yummy! Can't wait to dig in!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Random Culinary Venture #1 Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup

Today I attempted to make Samgyetang, a traditional Korean ginseng chicken soup. I love Korean food and have grown more and more interested in Korean culture over the years. This recipe is one that I have been wanting to try for quite some time, but the main element is a whole chicken...which I have never tried cooking before. Suffice it to say I have been quite hesitant. So today I took up the challenge! I acquired the ingredients, prepped them, dealt with the chicken, and stuffed that sucker! Before I go more into the cooking process let me give you a bit of Samgyetang back story!

Samgyetang is a chicken soup usually prepared and eaten during very hot months. This I have been told, by my Korean guru Maangchi, is because the Korean people believe that you should "fight fire with fire". Afterwards you can use watermelon to quickly give yourself a cool down. It was on Maanchi's blog that I found the recipe for today's venture. If you would like to give it a try yourself HERE is the link.

The basic ingredient list for a single serving or small family serving is:

  • 1 Cornish hen 
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ginseng root
  • 1 jujube
  • 1/2 cup of sticky rice
  • green onion

...and that's it. You add water and boil for about 70 minutes, 40 on medium high and 30 on medium heat.

This has been one of the healthiest meals I have ever made. My hubby wasn't so keen on it and Seri was more interested in the dipping sauce than the soup. Might have to save this meal for times when my husband is deployed because I doubt he would be happy to try it again haha. I felt a big pick me up when I was done eating. I struggle with not feeling energetic and I don't use caffeine either so this meal would be awesome to help me battle that. Ginseng is said to increase energy, lower stress and cholesterol, as well as, promote relaxation. I have quite a bit left over from cooking and I think I will try to include it in our meals when ever I can. I recommend this meal 100% but that's just my opinion!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 2: Entertainment and Sports

Yesterday: Language and Landmarks

Today is such a fun day! Watching television shows and listening to songs is always a good time no matter the language! We are also taking a look at Mexico's favorite sports. When I think of learning Spanish, as an American mom, I can't help but think of Dora. When Dora came along kids were given a chance to learn Spanish in an exciting and fun interactive way. For Serenity it has helped a lot! She knows a lot of the words we are studying this week due to her Dora love. When I think of Mexican singers I think of Selena. When I was younger Jennifer Lopez portrayed her in a movie and I loved the music I heard then and now. I'm curious about Serenity's opinion since the song I chose from her is a tad bit older.

First thing I showed her was a video from a Dora the Explorer game that describes numbers and gives a Chichen Itza-like back ground. She was a tad bored but played along any way.

Monday, August 3, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 1: Language and Landmarks

Last week: Poland

This week we are going to focus on learning more about our Mexican neighbors to the South! We will be practicing Spanish words and taking a look at popular Mexican landmarks. I must say that Dora plays a large part in Serenity's interest in the Spanish language and I hope this week's lessons will help her continue in her study of the language.

Tinker Crate: Trebuchet

Tinker crate is a STEM DIY craft box subscription. It supplies your child with a hands on experience of creating their very own experiments. The booklet gives step by step directions and even has fun activities to try with your items. I love the inclusion of historical fun facts also! In this box we got the supplies to build a trebuchet. A trebuchet is a type of catapult that was used in the Middle Ages. It was later replaced by the cannon. It was incredibly easy to assemble. My only issue with this box was that they forgot one piece, a single strand of rope. We had to use some string from our craft supplies to replace it but it ended up being fine. Even with that mistake I am still very happy with this box. It is perfect for our little girl who has such a curiosity and interest in science and in how things work. Tinker Crate is $19.95/a month with free shipping. If you are interested in signing up you can do so HERE.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Science with Serenity: Rocket Launcher

Serenity was given 20 dollars to spend on Amazon and she chose to buy two science related kits. One dealt with kitchen ingredients and the other dealt with mining crystals from rocks.

Currently $10.71 on Amazon.

Currently $7.99 on Amazon.

Today we decided to do the rocket launcher project. Serenity wants to chronicle each experiment she does so I will give my blog over to her once again so she can share her experiences.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

~Poland Week~ Day 5: Demographics, National Symbols, Weather, and Fashion

Yesterday: Food

It has been quite a week and I am behind on updating and have to shove a lot of information into this day! summer time activities can make it tough to focus on our learning schedule! We are going to go over demographics, national symbols, weather, and fashion today.

Poland is a fairly small country and has a small population because of this. Compared to the huge amount of people in our last country of study China this country is far from comparing! The population of Poland is about 38,383,809. The size is 120,728 square miles this makes it a bit smaller than New Mexico. The capital is Warsaw and the currency is called Zloty. In currency exchanges 1 zloty equals 27 cents in U.S. dollars.

The national symbols for this country are its white and red flag and its coat of arms. The coat of arms is on a red background with a white eagle with golden beak topped with a crown.This is said to originate from Poland's founder Lech seeing a white eagle's nest.