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Pet Safety on the 4th of July

More pets are lost on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters nationwide. How sad (and scary) are those facts? While you are out having fun, remember your pets and pet safety on the 4th of July. Keep your pet inside Pets are often scared of fireworks and will injure themselves trying to find a place to hide from the noise. Even if your pet is usually an outdoor pet, fireworks are an exception to the usual noise they hear. Make sure your pet has a safe place INSIDE to escape. Close windows and doors to lessen the noise and play a fan or background music/tv to help drown out the pops and bangs. Don't use insect repellent or sunscreen on your pet Just because it's not toxic to humans does not mean it's not toxic to pets. Pets lick their fur, we don't lick our skin. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. Ingestion of insect repellents that … [Read more...]

Celebrating Memorial Day with Kids

Most people consider Memorial Day the unofficial kick-off to summer. In the midst of BBQs, camping, beach time, and other patriotic fun, we often forget forget the real reason why we celebrate Memorial Day - to honor those who sacrificed their lives while serving in our military. This year, in addition to playing some patriotic games, take time to try at least one of these ideas to help your kids learn that Memorial Day is not just a day off of school for a BBQ... Send a letter of thanks If you know a family who has lost a loved one in the military, write a letter of thanks to them. Thank them for allowing their relative to serve our country and remind them that the loss of their relative will not be forgotten. Visit a Veteran's cemetery Bring flowers to decorate the grave of someone who may not have family to decorate it for them. Walk through the cemetery and look at names and dates of birth/death. Learn about real Heroism Visit the U.S. Department of Defense and learn … [Read more...]

Stars and Stripes Cookies

I've shared with you before my favorite sugar cookie recipe and my go-to for frosting...but today I am sharing another version. These are perfect for cut out cookies and for amazing designs with frostings. Sugar cookie recipe 3 cups flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 cup butter 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp salt Mix ingredients well and roll out into a thin piece. Use a large star shaped cookie cutter to make the large stars and use a small for the blue stars. Royal icing recipe 2 egg whites 1/4 tsp cream of tartar 3 cups powdered sugar Whip the egg whites until they hold their shape. (This usually takes about 5 minutes on high.) Then add in your cream of tartar and powdered sugar. Mix and blend well. Divide into three...dye one red and one blue and leave one white.   … [Read more...]

Pipe Cleaner Firework Painting

Last week Tottie and I brought you hand print firework painting.  This week, Nutty and I bring you Pipe Cleaner Firework Painting!  Yes, we're all about celebrating the 4th of July at my house! Nutty had a ton of fun making these despite the fact that she doesn't like getting messy lately. To make your own, you'll need: Paint 4-5 Pipe cleaners Black construction paper Paper plates Scissors (optional) Glitter (optional) 1)  If you are only making "one color" of firework like we did, fold 4 pipe cleaners in half and twist the together at the folded edge about half-way up.  If you are making "more than one color" firework or have more than one child painting, cut 5 pipe cleaners in half and then twist them together about half-way up. 2)  Spread the untwisted ends apart equally. 3)  Pour paint on paper plates making sure to spread the paint around the plate and not leave it in the middle. 4)  Dip the pipe cleaners in the paint on the plates using the … [Read more...]

Patriotic Fruit Pizza

Here's what you will need for the crust: 1 box of Graham Crackers, smashed 2 T honey, divided 1 stick of butter, melted 2 T sugar Combine ingredients together in a mixer or food processor to make a dough. Press out your dough in a pie pan, add remaining tablespoon of honey to the top of the crust and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes (until nicely browned) Here's what you will need for the remainder: 2 Cups of whipped cream (or Cool Whip) 6 ounces of vanilla (or plain) yogurt. Greek yogurt works best as it is a thicker consistency raspberries blackberries sliced strawberries Combine the whipped cream and yogurt together in a bowl and then smooth over your COOLED crust. Next, add your berries, leaving plenty of space showing the white....this will give the red, white and blue look to the fruit pizza. You certainly can do this with other fruits as well (I've done it with strawberries and kiwi at Christmas time) but if you stick to the berries you will get the … [Read more...]

Handprint Fireworks

Yes, it's time to start thinking 4th of July.  After all, it's only a little over 2 weeks away!  Where has this summer gone already?! Tottie and I started our 4th of July crafts by making hand print fireworks.  She had a ton of fun making them and I had fun watching her do it! She can't wait to see the real fireworks now! To make your own hand print fireworks, you'll need: Black construction paper Finger paints Glitter (optional) Glitter glue (optional) Paint brushes Start by having your child paint their hand however they want.  We used red, white, and blue because it's patriotic but you can use whatever colors you want.  Fireworks come in all kinds of colors.  Just have fun! Then help press your child's hand onto the black paper.  Make sure to keep the fingers spread because that's the "squiggles" of the fireworks. Once you have a bunch of hand prints and finger prints on the paper, and before the paint is dry, sprinkle glitter over the hand … [Read more...]