mylifeamongstdinosaurs.com

You don’t have to work at a bar to be this guy’s friend.

By April 13, 2017 What I love this week!

My kitchen is my blessing and my curse. We have a very distinct love hate relationship that we struggle with daily. I tenderly care for it , clean it, put my beautiful dishes in its care and keeping. I create warm meals and baked goods in the heart of my kitchen. How does it repay me? It gets filthy . Dishes clutter the sink, it invites my family to stack who knows what all over the once clean counters. Its infuriating. To top it all off, what else do I get for my hard and delicious work? Rust and black marks all in my sink.

I have always had a thing about keeping my sink clean. I think it stems from the fact that I am there so often and a far away voice always echos to keep your space tidy. Yes I realize I may be a bit obsessive over it, but that’s a story for another time. In our current home, I have noticed this sink get the black marks on the porcelain and the rust around the drains something terrible. It is a daily battle , well it was a daily battle. I would scrub and use every once of elbow grease I could manage and only to get the smallest of portions of it removed.

I am an admitted Pinterest junkie. Who isn’t? If you just shook your head and said to yourself, or even out loud, well I am not, I am calling bologna! I went to my go to research tool, Pinterest of course, and looked up ways to get rust and black marks off your sink. One thing kept popping up. Bar Keepers friend. I thought, huh, I betcha it’s a super strong pricey cleaner, and I passed it by. Then, one day moseying through Walmart, I saw an entire end cap display of Bar Keepers friend. It was under $2.00 and I was going to give it a go.

I got home and I made a bee line for my sink. I spritzed my water, I sprinkled the powder, I rubbed over it with my scrubby. I stood back and was shocked. It truly did work like a miracle. It took off the black marks, the rust, and it made me oh so curious. I had a pair of pruning shears that had a bit of rust on them , so I spritzed it with water, sprinkled the powder and Presto!

            Before I used Bar Keepers Friend

                 After!

It took off the rust. I was so excited, I used it on a cookie sheet I was getting ready to toss, and now its back in the cupboard! I love this stuff. I cannot say enough how much. Although, after the cookie sheet, my husband may be able to relay the fact that I was almost dancing in the kitchen. I would point out I was much happier then he was, and he should have been happy, I saved him money on another cookie sheet! I highly recommend giving it a go. I will not go without it in my cupboard anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trolling for flowers

By April 13, 2017 Crafty Us!

When it came out, my son and I fell in love with the Dreamworks movie Trolls. We watch it almost every day , if we aren’t watching it, the soundtrack is definitely playing in the car and sometimes in the house. The characters make us happy. When Branch gets his happy back , my son shrieks with joy and says, ” Mommy! His color came back!”

So…needless to say it was only a matter of time before I decided to come up with something that we could create that would incorporate the beloved Trolls characters into something we would love to use and enjoy. Enter troll pots. Not only do I have a deep passion for those crazy Trolls and their catchy tunes, but I love plants and having things grow. So naturally I tried to figure out a way to make our planters awesome and purposeful.

Now trolls are small so I went with 1 inch pots. I made a Poppy, Branch, and a Biggie.They are my top three from the movie. I tried to decide if I wanted to plant seeds or put little plants in them so I went with both. Poppy and Branch were planted and Biggie got a seed to see how he does.

The whole thing from start to finish was a blast. My son kept asking to sing the songs, and then saying ” Mommy, look at me!” as he planted his flower. It melted my heart. I did manage a few pictures to show some of the steps, but honestly I got lost in a memory. However, I will tell you all you’ll need and show you what we did! I hope you enjoy it like we did.

Troll Pots!

                     Bright and cheery Colors

Things you will need.

  • Acrylic Paint in your choice of colors.
  • smock to cover your little one!
  • newspaper /tablecloth to protect your space.
  • 1 inch pots ( feel free to make it bigger though!)
  • paint brushes
  • googly eyes
  • foam
  • glue
  • sharpie fine point
  • sealer
  • dirt
  • your choice of plant

First thing you will want to do is cover your area and get smocks on. Painting is a blast, and it sometimes gets everywhere!

After you have your area secured and protected, have your little one paint the troll the color they want. I applied 3 coats to my pots. They are Terra cotta so they are very thirsty and 3 coats seemed to make my color pop like I wanted.

With that many coats you will want to let it dry for about 5-10 minutes, you will be able to tell when it is no longer wet by running your finger over the paint lightly. I then sealed my pots so that when they were watered the paint would hold up longer. For this I used Mod Podge acrylic spray sealer. I applied 3 coats, and you have to wait 15 minutes between coats. Here is where you have the kids go run around and play or take a nap. I have a 2 year old, so we had nap time while I sealed the pots.

Once the pots were dry and we were up from our nap, the fun continued. We glued on our eyes and cut out our pieces for the nose from the foam. Now we did not use a template, we just made shapes close to our characters noses we picked. However if you don’t want to even attempt to cut a nose out, tiny pom poms would work great here, too! we had cut out ears to put on our trolls, but it was decided that it was too hard to get them glued on.

               coming together quite nicely.

While we let our glue dry ( if you have an impatient kiddo you can always hot glue.) we decided what we were going to put in the pots. I decided on a fun little spikey succulent plant in mine and he wanted a trailing stone crop in his. it looked like long hair and he was very pleased with himself. In the last pot we planted a Safflower seed and are going to see what becomes of it.

Once the glue was dry enough to not shift the eyes about , we filled our pots with dirt and planted our plants. We put a little water in and set them in a sunny window. I love looking up and seeing the smiling faces we created. I can’t wait to see how they look as the plants get bigger and make their hair look crazy!

Did you try to make troll pots? Did you make some other character completely! I would love to see your creations in the comments!

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Oh I love a good disappearing trick!

By April 4, 2017 What I love this week!

I am surrounded by boys. Even the pets are boys! I am a lone woman in a jungle full of smelly boy funk. I usually don’t mind the cars and the rocking horse. However, when it gets to be the funky stains of Lord only knows what that I start to really wish I had a girl to give me a reprieve of the weirdness that occurs in my laundry room. From food stains to dirt, grass, and I think somehow a worm stained a pair of pants ( at least that’s a story I would get.) It is overwhelming, and clothes are expensive! I can’t even count the number of times I pull a brand new shirt over T-Rex’s head only to look at it an hour later and wonder what in the world is all that insanity all over him!

My saving grace that I discovered years ago in a hobby and fabric shop is my Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover. I love this stuff, I cannot even begin to tell you how much. It gets out everything! I had a friend who washed her favorite lipstick ( pause for a moment of silence for the poor lipstick) and it was all over her nice blouse. I had her pick some up and it took it all out! It has this great list of all the things you can get out with it

SO MUCH AWESOMENESS

I was over the moon when I discovered this in our Walmart. I was even more excited to see it came in the little dauber bottle I originally had and a big spray bottle. With my house full of guys, I opted for the big bottle and have yet to regret that decision. I have to say a little does go a long way so I don’t have to buy it a lot , but I use it all the time.

I had just finished my laundry when I decided to write this so I have no before and after pictures of the laundry to show you, but I will say I am not getting paid to tell you how awesome they are and I am still saying it! It has to mean something . I also love that they don’t test on animals, because although a lot of people don’t anymore, I just always like to be sure. I love animals and I don’t need them to try it out on these poor defenseless critters just to make my whites white again.

So if you are in an endless pile of stains every now and again you may just want to try this out and see how you like it. I hope you love it as much as I do.

 

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We all fall down, and some of us get stitches!

By April 4, 2017 Family Life

I love my child. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew, I just knew I was going to have a tough kiddo. It didn’t matter if it was a girl or a boy, I was going to have a kid with some grit. My tiny T-Rex has just that. He is so rough and tumble and he is always in some sort of race or fight with something. I love it.

What I do not love, is when I have just poured my first cup of coffee in the morning and sat down in the warm sunshine to watch said little dino run about and as the words are exiting my mouth, ” Slow down son, not so fast!”, my little man took a header right into the corner of the entertainment stand. In slow motion I watched as my son’s head bounced off the corner and his smile faded into a look of shock then sheer pain.

I rushed like an EMT to his side, swooped him up and cuddled him close. As I pulled his head back to survey the damage, a miniature horror show erupted before my eyes. My sweet little boy looke das if he’d stepped out of Carrie. His face was drenched in blood. My dear husband did excellent as I shouted orders for washcloths, and then immediately to have him retrieve keys. As I got a closer look at the gash o his head, one word echoed through my head and made its way out my mouth. Stitches!!

My little man is only 2. Now I told you he was rough and tumble, and I completely had wagered on a broken bone by three. He knows absolutely no fear except that of a changing table in a public restroom. That’s a story for another time though. So, as I loaded my tiny bleeding little kid in the car, I had to remind myself he was tough, and this is what kids do. Then the bad mom took over and began yelling, ” You broke your baby!!” I really get annoyed by bad mom, and the waves of guilt that hit were awful.

It is that moment between guilt and calm mom that you have to pause and realize, this truly is what kids do! Each nurse that peeked at his adorable little face smiled and said, “Oh just wait, more will come. ” and chuckled as they walked away. I felt a little relieved when they giggled, but then I looked at more poor baby.  He smiled so sadly as I told him time and again he was going to be ok and it was a small bonk.

After 4 stitches and promises of I think about every item a 2 year old could want we were able to walk out of the hospital and from the whole mess, my little guy learned a few things.

  1.  When mom says, “Slow Down ” it really means to slow your body down!
  2.  We learned how to tell everyone we have stitches and make the best sad face to accompany it.
  3.  Nothing beats a good cup of Dutch Brothers on the way home as a reward for not passing out during our stitches.

I am thrilled that this little adventure is over, and after a week stitches come out, and all that is left is a small scar and a great story. Have you ever had one of your little ones crash and burn? How did you and they handle it? I’d love to know.

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Quick and easy lunch for Cheese lovers.

By March 28, 2017 Let's Feed the Beasts

When I was a little girl my parents had to find interesting ways to feed our pack. My sisters and I all had very different tastes. However, come lunch time if they told us we were having bubble cheese, our day was made! This simple lunch had everything you could want cheese, bread, a pinch of salt and pepper, three midgets gazing into the oven window. OK, maybe you don’t need that last one, but it happened every time we made this. I find myself still gazing in and excitedly calling my own kids over to watch it bubble up.

This is not only a great lunch for a finicky eater, but also when you just haven’t quite made it to the grocery store yet. It has few ingredients and throws together at lightening speed. I hope you and your kids love the way the cheese grows and bubbles up as it cooks as much as we do.

Bubble Cheese

Ingredients:

Bread

Cheese

Mayo ( optional)

salt and pepper

Set Oven to Broil

Take a slice of bread, if you would like now is the time to apply the thin layer of mayo.

If you hate mayo, then skip this and proceed getting a slice of cheese. Kraft slices works awesome for this , but you can also thin slice cheese off the block. once you have your slice, lay it on top of the bread.

salt and pepper lightly.

Slide in the oven and watch! As the cheese heats up it rises into bubbles all over the bread, you may get one big bubble or several little ones. When you see the edges of the bread are browning up and the cheese is bubbled up well, pull it out of the oven. The bubbles will collapse down. However, this was all great fun to watch because smaller bubbles would remain raised. Let it cool just a bit, as the oven on broil is incredibly hot. Serve up with your favorite lunch side and a drink. It makes for a fun lunch.

 

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The Healing Power of Chocolate

By March 28, 2017 What I love this week!

Let me begin by saying, no I am not about to convince you in any way shape or form that chocolate is going to cure your tennis elbow, or fix a leaky roof. What I will tell you is that many moons ago, the Aztecs started mixing up drinks with cacao and there is a whole lot of refinement and beauty that brought about the amazement of the pure delight exploding in your mouth when you eat a piece of chocolate today. I can say that some doctors get behind a moderate amount of chocolate daily.

Yes, dark chocolate is the best for you. It helps with heart health, depression, and a host of other things that justify in my head the reason that if dark chocolate is good for you, then milk chocolate must be good for you, too. It has calcium from milk , so therefore it does a body good, right! Oh and hey, if milk chocolate has calcium then white chocolate must be good too because its white like milk and isn’t technically really chocolate according to some people. I can sit all day and reason as to why chocolate is good for you. However, this week I decided chocolate is the thing I love because, well chocolate loves me back!

I have started a quiet love affair with chocolate. When the vacuum broke, I told chocolate about it. It held me wrapped in its warm silky taste and whispered, “Its gonna be OK, sweetie.” Chocolate is very reassuring. When the baby decided to take a header into the entertainment stand and got stitches, chocolate told me , ” Hey! You’re a good mom, you just told him to slow down. It’s really a Disney issue if you think about it, he thought he was a race car!” I thought, wow chocolate you could be a lawyer. When the phone screen broke, chocolate smiled and said” Oh you don’t want to talk to anyone now anyway, you’re too upset.” I decided then that chocolate is very perceptive of my emotions.

I’m not suggesting anyone go out and binge on chocolate to solve your issues, I’m not. I won’t lie to you either, I always have chocolate in my house. It makes me happy, and it tastes like heaven in any form. If I could have Chris Pratt and Keanu Reeves just hanging out at my house playing video games with me and cooking dinner that’d make me happy too, but I have chocolate. In moderation it is great for me. It lightens my mood, it makes me smile, it adds pounds on while I am trying to work them off. When it does that, chocolate always tells me I am beautiful and worth it though. Chocolate likes me curvy.

I am not even picky on the form I get my chocolate in. My darling hubby will occasionally bring me a candy bar. I have been known to whip up brownies and cake. I love the joy of it all. I don’t feel too bad, everyone has a decadent treat they love. Although it may not be a sweet, maybe your love is a dill pickle or sardines. What’s your secret treat that you love? I’d love to know.

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A Full Circle.

By March 28, 2017 Family Life

I can remember sitting in my second grade class as my teacher Mrs. VonLindern was beginning a unit on dinosaurs, and I fell in love. The awesome images of these giant reptiles captured my heart and I wanted more than ever to be a paleontologist. Now that is a million dollar word for a second grader and I told my mom I wanted to be one , and in true supportive mom fashion she was 100% behind it.

As I grew, my love for dinos never truly diminished. Reality crept in and the more I researched the more I realized it was not a career you went into thinking you’d make a good deal of money. My hope for the career waned and I still fostered my love of the beasts, but less hope in a job dealing with them. I moved forward in life and worked in the education system and my favorite topic was, well it was art, but I also loved life science and talking about , you guessed it, dinosaurs.

I ended up marrying my friend I met in first grade, and we began a family of our own. The nurse about fell over laughing when at the ultrasound I asked her to confirm to my husband and mom that I was in fact having a T-Rex! I was having a little ( giant) boy, and we ended up nicknaming him T-Rex. As I was watching him the other day, I realized my world had come full circle. Here I was sitting watching my T-Rex romp and stomp and growl around the house.  My other son reminded me of a triceratops, grazing about and not real ambitious unless well motivated. My husband reminded me of an Apatosaurus, gentle and kind, loves salad. I am surrounded by dinosaurs!

It was at that moment a silly grinned plastered itself to my face and I wanted more than ever to tell Mrs. VonLindern thank you so much for putting me on a career path to awesomeness. So if by some amazing chance the stars align and you are reading this, thank you so much for the unit on dinosaurs, and as a side note, our invisible thinking caps too!

Naturally, after thinking about it, I thought how funny it would be to tell of my adventures with these creatures I lived with. As if by some weird chance, I was roaming the internet and checking out blogs and came across the 30 day blog challenge. I decided to sign up and it has become a wonderful dream. I get to do something I love, write, and I get to share it with everyone. My family is crazy, and they make me giggle. I also love to make things with them or try new things out, and why not share it all. I hope that this adventure continues to be a fun and rewarding experience for us all!

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