Kids Workshops to Learn, Create and Craft at The Home Depot

Free Kids Workshops to Learn, Create & Craft at The Home Depot

ImageFall is a favorite time of year for many. I prefer summer, but I do enjoy a few aspects of fall. Crunchy leaves, before they get soggy, a fire in the fireplace, warm crockpot comfort meals, and yes FOOTBALL.  Who doesn’t love football. I love both American and European football, but fall is for American football.

Home Depot is tapping this enthusiasm with a workshop this Saturday.  Home Depot has a great series of workshops, not just for kids though, but for adults as well.  From weatherizing your home to Do-It-Herself workshops.  So, take advantage of the turning weather, take some free workshops and enjoy yourself.

Workshop Schedule

Saturday, September 1st at 9am. You can build a goal post football game.

Saturday, October 6th at 9am: Build a fire truck

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Pumpkin Spiced Apple Pancake Rings via A Modern Christian Woman

Pumpkin Spiced Apple Pancake Rings

ImageI love making apple pancakes.  Usually that involves adding applesauce and some cinnamon and nutmeg to the mix and topping it with more apple sauce instead of syrup.  My key to a perfect pancake is to grill them on a cast iron or heavy bottomed pan, with a thin coating of bacon grease. The bacon grease is only to keep them from sticking, okay, and maybe the crunchy edges and flavor are key too. But many of my recipes have some component of bacon, and you might be tired of hearing me espouse on its deliciousness.  So, I will move on.

These pancakes are unique in that they contain an ACTUAL apple ring embeded inside the pancake.  I traditionally make Swedish style or thin pancakes, so making a batter thick enough for this will be a challenge, but I believe, well worth it.

This recipe comes from a blog I subscribe to called A Modern Christian Woman. Her stuff is amazing. She has great relevant content, is interesting and her recipes are super yummy! I would totally recommend following her! ~ Im trying out this recipe for the First Day of School. We have a traditional Christmas breakfast and this is another tradition that needs to be formed. The recipe is special, fall-ish and all around perfect for the First Day of School.

Pumpkin Spiced Apple Pancake Rings

2 – 3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced into rings

1 cup of pancake mix (I make mine – here is the recipe)

1 egg

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (more or less to your taste)

grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon sugar (white or brown depending on your tastes)

Grease and preheat a pancake griddle to medium heat.  Combine pancake mix, egg, spices, milk, lemon zest and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.  Dip apple slices in the batter and place on griddle.  Cook until golden brown.  Serve with warm maple syrup. Enjoy!

New Flash Sales Site to Benefit Metro Parks Tacoma

ImageMetroParksTacoma.ParksDeals.com – Metro Parks Tacoma

A new deals site has hit Tacoma. Metro Parks is hosting a new deals or flash sales site. Ive just cruised around and there is some killer stuff: Jansport backpacks for $25-$35ish, a Cabela’s Windbreaker for $13, and even more. Ive seen Seahawks tickets advertised as well.

As most of you know, I am a HUGE fan of getting a great deal. I am also a HUGE fan of supporting our local community. This makes it super easy to do both. With every purchase on the site, a portion of the sales go back to Metro Parks Tacoma. How neat is that? Anything to keep them fundraising, adding to their already great programming and park services. Have I mentioned how much I love Point Defiance Zoo, NW Trek and the community parks? Then let me say it again: I LOVE METRO PARKS!

So, lets have fun, go shopping for things we need anyway and support a great resource in our community!

Food transportation ideas!

This is a list of great ideas for when you are trying to transport food. I use several of these tips for many of my friends who have had babies, or have needed food drop off for some reason. You don’t need to cook at their house. Don’t make dishes, just bring the food!

Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen

Do you want to bring a meal to someone who has just had a baby? who has just gotten out of the hospital? for a friend who’s been sick? or for someone who’s just lost a loved one?

Here are some tips that will help you in preparing and transporting food to others in a time of need.

TIPS FOR TRANSPORTING MEALS

This photo shows my Cream Cheese Brownies packed to be taken to a VBS worker’s snack time.

1) Use foil pans and plastic containers to prepare and take your meals in. This picture shows how I recycle the plastic containers for salad mix and lettuce. They are great to save for cookies, brownies, breads, fruit, or your own home made salads.

Here’s another view of the plastic container spring mix comes in.

This was a round plastic container that a soup kit came in. It’s great to recycle…

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Summertime Challenge – Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

Well, we made it. We made the Summertime Challenge.  With all the other summer social obligations: weddings, pot lucks, and BBQ’s it was hard to find the time, be we were able to walk about, surrounded by nature at lease once a month, all summer long. Well, we still have September, but considering school starts before that, Im not sure we still count that as summer.  September in the pacific northwest says summer, but the school calendar says “Bah Humbug”!

The last hike was the longest, and most challenging for us.  It was just the 3 boys and mom.  And let me tell ya, the baby is a trooper; I only had to bribe him with the promise of daddy a few times to keep him moving.  He didn’t walk the whole 4 miles, but he did walk a good 2 miles. The rest of the way, my shoulders did the carrying.  The older two boys were great. They didn’t complain, except to say that mommy and baby couldn’t keep up, and carried everybody’s lunches in their backpacks. We didn’t stick to all the groomed trails, and some of the walking was a little jumping over roots, rocks and narrow little goat trails. But it was a blast.

Find the Perfect Hike

We left a little late because I was agonizing over the perfect trail to walk on. Not too long, not too tough, not too steep and with enough interest to keep little kids wondering whats around the next corner, e.g. just right – said baby bear. So, I hit my friendly http://www.WTA.org (Washington Trails Association) website. Their hike finder tool is fantastic. You can filter by location, sights, level of difficulty (kid-friendly).

Pack for the Hike

Then, we had to pack for the hike. Anyone who leaves the house with people smaller and younger than yourself know its a good idea to bring these items along on a trip, to anywhere. Unless its Grandma’s house; she pretty much has everything.

  • Diaper bag – with plenty of wipes
  • Change of clothes/shoes and socks
  • Lunch and healthy snacks (Peanut butter & local honey is a mainstay as well as oranges & apples)
  • Lots of water

I Googled the address and we were off!  The weather was warm. We shared the trail with horses, and other people of all ages out for either a pleasant stroll or a hardcore run through the woods.  Everyone we met was super nice and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Things We Learned:

  1. Pack the night before if you want to leave early
  2. Wear bug repellent, sunscreen and a hat. In my neighborhood, we have plenty of wind to keep the mosquitoes down, not so around these trails. The olders moved fast enough that the mosquitoes wouldn’t stick, but the little guy was in trouble.
  3. Make sure everyone has on long pants (see mosquito note above) and in case of trips, falls and sticker bushes.  We had a little of all 3 on our walk.
  4. Download a map of the hiking area and plan your hike accordingly. King County provided a Map at the trail head (Quite useful, thanks King County!) But, in my naivete, I thought the path was probably another loop, so didn’t bother to look until we found a spot for lunch. We had walked way out of our way from where we wanted to be and added an extra mile to our walk.
  5. Keep the Map! Along the route, during a diaper change no doubt, I dropped the map.  I hope some poor lost soul found it and used it. Thankfully, I was able to ask for directions. Did I mention that everyone we met was nice?
  6. On your hike in this area, either hike to a designated picnic area, or plan to make your impromptu lunch on a fallen log (we did). Just remember to pic up your trash!
  7. Wear comfortable shoes. I don’t own hiking boots, but after this, Im thinking I should invest in a pair. Oye, my aching feet!
  8. When hiking with kids, plan to take breaks. Break for water, rest, and most importantly potty breaks. This is where having boys is quite nice!
  9. Remember, if it takes you 1 hour to walk in, it will take you 2 hours to walk out along the same path.
  10. Have fun. Enjoy the time with the family. Savor the peanut butter!