Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day in Boise

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day helps us remember those who have moved on and/or gave their life in service to our country. There are several ways that we can celebrate Memorial Day:

1. Visit Grave Sites of Ancestors: Many people on Memorial Day go to grave sites of loved ones and pay tribute with flowers or sharing memories.

2. Idaho Civil War Volunteers are conducting an annual Civil War flag raising ceremony, gun salute and eulogy at 12 pm at the Veterans Monument in Morris Hill Cemetery, 317 N. Latah. At 1:30 pm the ceremony will be repeated at the Fort Boise Military Reserve Cemetery at 1101 Mountain Cove Rd. To learn more, click here.

3. Idaho Division of Veterans Services will hold a ceremony at 10 am at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery located at 1011 Horseshoe Bend Road. For more information, click here.

4. Thank a Veteran for their Service: Veterans take time to help our country and to provide a service, take the time to thank them.

5. Have a Barbecue and Celebrate the Freedom and Country: Many men and women have given up their lives so that we have freedom and safety. Celebrate and honor their memory by spending time with family and loved ones.

6. Hang up in American Flag: Show that you remember the loss of the lives of those who died, by putting up an American Flag in your home.

What are some ways that you like to celebrate?


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Boise Public Library New Summer Program

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Boise Public Library is doing a new summer program this year called SummerFest and a new community-wide reading program: BoiseReads! These new programs don't officially start until June 1st (and end July 31st), but you can register for the program NOW. To register for the program, click here.

SummerFest
The SummerFest program is designed for readers and hands-on-learning. It's open to ALL ages.  The SummerFest features seven Discovery Tracks:
  • Discover Science: June 1 - 11
  • Discover Art: June 12 - 18
  • Discover Outside: June 19 - 25
  • Discover Boise: June 16 - July 2
  • Discover Reading: July 3 - 9
  • Discover Coding: July 10 - 16
  • Discover Your Library: July 17 - 23
  • Celebration Week: July 24 - 31
If you complete five themed activities for each Discovery Track you can enter into grand prize drawings. For the Discover Science Track some examples of activities include: designing a building, making a volcano, doing a science experiment and more. To learn more about SummerFest, click here. (Even though the program doesn't start until June 1st, you can start planning what you are going to do with your kids for the Discover Science track and get the supplies i.e. clay for a volcano, registering a hold at the library for a science book, pvc pipe for a stomp rocket.)

BoiseReads
BoiseReads is a new, all-ages (includes babies to seniors), community-wide reading program. Track all the books you read (through the registered site, click here). The goal is for our community to read 50,000 books this summer.

Gap Factory and Banana Republic Factory Outlet Mystery Money

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Until May 29th, the Gap Factory Outlet and Banana Republic Factory Outlet are offering a chance to win Mystery Money to their store. You can win up to $25, $100 or $500 to be used towards a Banana Republic Factory or Gap Factory purchase and a chance to win a trip to Mexico. I signed up and took my mystery money bar code to the Gap Factory Outlet. The employees weren't able to figure out the amount that I would get until I made my purchase. There were a lot of great items for women, men and children. We found a couple of things that we liked. We received $25 off our purchase. I used a gift card I got from Ebates and Kellogg's Family Rewards with my $25 off coupon to get $55 worth of items for $5. The Mystery Money is worth using even if you only get the $25 off coupon, there were several items at the Gap Factory Outlet that were under $25: t-shirts, flip flops, pants, etc. To sign-up to get your own mystery money, click here.

Romancing Daphne Review

Monday, May 22, 2017

Romancing Daphne, by Sarah Eden, shares the story of Daphne Lancaster's first season in London. Daphne despairs at the thought of attending social events in London. She believes she doesn't have her sisters' beauty, talents, or the ability to converse easily. When an unexpected visitor, James Tilburn, comes to her door for a social call, Daphne becomes excited at the prospect of getting to know him. Is James what he seems? Daphne and James quickly become caught in others' greed, a tangle web of lies, and misunderstandings. James and Daphne will have to determine how to free themselves and find freedom in happiness.

Romancing Daphne is the third installment of the Lancaster books by Sarah M. Eden. Each of the Lancaster books can stand alone, but I've learned its better to read the books in order. When you read them in order, you can understand the references to characters and events. The other books in the installment are Seeking Peresphone and Courting Miss Lancaster. Romancing Daphne shared Daphne's fears and hopes. She seemed to exhibit common fears of finding ground in social settings, feelings of doubt and self esteem. Daphne's character also had many talents that are more known to the reader as she gets to know James Tilburn. The portrayal of Daphne was relateable. The hero, James Tilburn, had many flaws: believing lies without checking into them, snooping on a terrace like a peeping tom, allowing himself to be overrun by his father. Daphne and James throughout the story discover who they are and what they should and should not believe about themselves. The story is filled with drama, romance, and more. It was interesting to see the characters develop and see their reaction to adversity. To learn more about Romancing Daphne, click here.

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Kroger Friday Freebie

Friday, May 19, 2017

Lately, my kids really, really like Ritz Crackers. They ask for them as a snack often. Ritz are also easy to pair with cheese, fruit and/or veggies. Today only you can download a coupon for 1 FREE Ritz Crisp & Thins (7.1 oz., any variety) (you must have an online account and store card registered). The coupon is good at Kroger and Kroger Affiliates. Click here for more details.

Olivia the Spy Review

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Olivia's birthday is coming up and she "accidentally" hears her mom saying not so good things about her behavior and that she  might be going to an institution. Olivia's imagination runs wild. Will Olivia's birthday be ruined?

When I first read Olivia the Spy by Ian Falconer to my kids, they instantly loved it. I was a little disappointed in it at first. The book bothered me and I couldn't figure out why until I realized it was because my preschooler sometimes acts like Olivia. I like to encourage independence, but sometimes it drives me crazy...deciding he's hungry and getting himself and his sister a snack by climbing onto the counter while I am going to the bathroom, trying to pour himself something to drink, dumping an extra cup of flour in with dinner, or wanting to sweep the floor at the exact moment I need to hurry and clean because someone's coming for dinner. I have also noticed that my preschooler sometimes misinterprets what he overhears me saying to someone else. Olivia the Spy hits the nail on the spot in the way a kid's mind works. The kids kept asking to read it again and again and the more we read it, the more I enjoyed it. I highly encourage for you to read Olivia the Spy and all of the Olivia books if you haven't already. My kids love Olivia and her adventures. To learn more, click here.

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Preschool Learning About Flowers

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

We had a week where we discussed flowers and spring time. We talked about when flowers grew, the
weather in the spring and what flowers eat and drink. Here are a few of the things that we did to discuss flowers and spring:

  • I drew a picture of grass, a flower stem and a circle above the stem. I thought it would be cute to put finger prints around the circle to make flowers. My kids didn't like the idea of sticking their fingers into the paint so I pulled out some q-tips and they used those to paint flower petals and rain. I would highly recommend investing in washable paint. It's easier to clean fingers, clothes, furniture, etc.
  • I also printed out the Spring Flower Petal Counting Sheet from ABCs to ACTs blog, you can get it here. I laminated it so we can reuse it again and again. The kids liked the bright colors, placing the petals on the flower and taking turns counting.
  • We also reread Curious George Discovers Plants. My kids love Curious George and if we can tie in a book to what we're learning about it helps them understand the concepts more.
  • We had also download some preschool flower cutting sheets, patterning sheets and more, but I can't find the link or papers that we worked on. There are numerous educational blogs and sites where you can find free materials for learning.
What are some of your ideas for Spring time learning activities?


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Spring Wreath

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I wanted to make a Spring Wreath for my door. I got a few flowers and a foam wreath from the local dollar store. I grouped the flowers on the wreath according to color. For placing flowers into foam wreaths, I cut the stem of the plastic flower using wire cutters (about an inch or two from the top), stick the remaining stem into the wreath and then hot glue it near the hole. After I placed all of my flowers, I wrapped the remaining wreath in twine (occasionally hot gluing into place). This wreath took about 1.5 hours to complete.

What are some Spring Decorations that you have made?


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How to Make a Holiday Chair Backer

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pottery Barn has some cute chair backers that you can put on the back of chairs for holidays. I didn't want to spend the money on an expensive chair backer so I looked online for a DIY Chair Backer Tutorial. I found a tutorial I liked on One Little Project, click here to see the tutorial. I decided to adjust the tutorial to fit my needs. I wanted to make a basic chair backer for each member of my family and make it generic so I can use it for multiple holidays like: Easter, Birthdays, Christmas, Halloween and Valentine's Day. We get a lot of cards from grandparents and relatives and I thought that the chair backer would be a nice place to put them.

Here's how I made my backer:

Materials:
1.5 sheets of white felt
White Ribbon
White Thread

1. Cut one of the sheets of white felt in half. These will make up the body of your envelope. Cut a little bit from the top on one of the pieces to make it easier to slide cards in and out. I sewed a fancy-looking white stitch along all of the edges of the two halves and then sewed it together, but you could also just sew it together.

2.  Cut out a triangle for the envelope flap using the remaining felt piece. I sewed along the edges using a fancy-looking white stitch.

3. Cut out two equal sized pieces of white ribbon. The length will vary according to your chair and how far you want the envelope to hang down.

4. Bend the ribbon in half  and place it on the top part of the envelope. Pin the flap over the ribbon.

5. Sew the top flap and ribbons on to the envelope. (I liked the tied ribbon look better than the Velcro look, but you can do whatever your preference.)

It's a very simple and easy project and helps keeps your cards organized for the holidays. If you wanted to add an additional touch, you could stitch the names of your family members on each envelope you make.

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Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Friday, May 12, 2017

This Saturday, May 13th, The National Association of Letter Carriers is asking everyone to "stamp out" hunger. This is the largest food drive in the nation and will help feed families throughout the United States. To participate place non-perishables in a bag (soup, low-sodium beans, tuna, etc) and leave them by your mailbox (or in it) for your letter carrier to pick-up. This is an easy way to help others! To learn more information, please click here.

Kroger Friday Freebie

Friday, May 12, 2017

Today only you can download a coupon for 1 FREE Lindt Lindor Truffle Stick (1.3 oz., milk chocolate or caramel (you must have an online account and store card registered). The coupon is good at Kroger and Kroger Affiliates. Click here for more details.

National Garden Day

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May 12, 2017 is National Garden Day. Admission to the Idaho Botanical Garden is FREE. National Garden Day helps to promote awareness of America's Public Gardens. The event goes from 9 am to 7 pm. This is a great for families. If you're planning on going be sure to bring: sunscreen, water and a camera. To learn more, click here.

Books to Read on Mother's Day with Kids

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

There are a lot of great books to read with kids on Mother's Day. Here are some of my favorites:



Love You Forever is a tender book about a mother who sings to her child each night as he grows up. Eventually the mother gets too old to sing to her son and he sings the song back to her. To learn more, click here.



 
 P.D. Eastman has become one of my family's favorite authors. My son loves Are You My Mother? so much that the both of us have the story memorized. It's a sure classic to celebrate Mothers. To learn more, click here.


 
We love the Mercer Mayer books. They're fun and little Critter's adventures are similar to everyday kid life. In Just Me and My Mom, Little Critter spends special time with his mom. This is a great book to read with little ones. To learn more, click here.



 
The Runaway Bunny is an adorable, classic tale. The baby bunny decides he's going to runaway from his mommy in imaginative ways, but the mommy bunny comes up with imaginative ways to tell him she will always come for him no matter what. It's a tale of a steadfast and loving mother.  To learn more, click here.


What are some of your favorite books to read to kids about motherhood?


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Downeast Basics Sale

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Save an additional 20% off ALL Clothing at Downeast Basics when you use the code EVERY20 until May14th. Here are some of the items that I thought looked cute:

Meadow Rose Skirt


Just Cause Skirt

 
Summer V-neck Cardi

Button Back Blouse


Downeast Basics is also offering a giveaway on their instagram. To find out more about the giveaway, click here.


What are some of your favorites from Downeast Basics?








For Sale by Owner Review

Monday, May 8, 2017

McKenzie Forsberg quit her big city job and is moving back to her hometown in For Sale by Owner by Marlene Bateman. McKenzie plans to buy her childhood home from her brother, Tom. Her plans are quickly stopped when she finds out that its already been sold to widower, Jared Rawlins. Jared Rawlins must sell his own home in order to complete his purchase of McKenzie's childhood home. McKenzie seems to be sabotaging his efforts. Can they put their differences aside?

I was a little hesitant to read this book. I had read a bad review on another blog and I wasn't sure if it would be a waste of time to read this story. The main character, McKenzie did have her faults, but the faults made the character more realistic. If characters didn't have flaws, we wouldn't have drama in a story. The story had some interesting twists and turns. It's a cute, romantic story. It would be a great story to read at Christmas or on a warm day when you want to remember colder weather. To find out more, click here

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Kroger Friday Freebie

Friday, May 5, 2017

Today only you can download a coupon for 1 FREE Yoplait Dippers Single Serve Cup (4.6 oz., any variety) and 1 FREE bag of Kroger Tortilla Chips (10 oz., any variety)(you must have an online account and store card registered). The coupon is good at Kroger and Kroger Affiliates. Click here for more details.

May the Fourth Be With You

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May the Fourth is notoriously known as a day to celebrate Star Wars. Here are a couple of ways to celebrate May the Fourth with your family:





1. Watch Star Wars Movies: There are a lot of Star Wars Movie options for your family to watch: the original Star Wars Episodes, the most recent Star Wars movies, the Star Wars movies fans "pretend" don't exist and the adorable Lego Star Wars movies. Which Star Wars movie is your favorite?



 
2. Read Star Wars Books: There are a lot of different Star Wars books to read. Our favorites in our household our the Star Wars Early Readers. What are your favorites?





3. Make Star Wars Inspired Food: There are several bloggers websites and cookbooks to show you how to make some great tasting movie-inspired treats.

Check out these links:



4. Make Star Wars Inspired Crafts: Make a fun Star Wars inspired craft with your family. It will be fun and artsy. Here are some bloggers that have great ideas:

5. Attend a Star Wars Event: The Boise Public Library is holding two Star Wars events at two of their library locations:

  • May the Force Be With You from 4 to 9 pm at the Boise Main Library.
  • Star Wars Day from 3-5 pm at the Boise Cole & Ustick Library

    What are some ways you like to celebrate May the Fourth?




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    Favorite Food Blogs

    Wednesday, May 3, 2017

    Some of my best recipes that I use throughout the year come from food bloggers. We all probably have our favorite food bloggers that we like to follow, here are some of my favorites:
    Who are some of your favorite food bloggers?

    Mother's Day Gift Ideas

    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    Coming up with idea for a present for mom's can be tough. Every mom is different and may have different likes and dislikes. Here are a couple ideas for you on what to get mom for mother's day:




    Gift Cards are the perfect present for when you're not sure what your mom would like as a present. Gift cards are often fun to redeem and easy-to-use.





    Flowers are fun to receive, smell great and brighten any room.



    For moms who like to read, books are always fun to get. For the past several years, I've gotten my mom and mother-in-law one of Sarah Eden's books and they love it. Some other authors that I would recommend (especially for moms who like Regency reads aka Jane Austin style):



    Some moms might appreciate a fun treat like chocolate, ice cream, cookies, a smoothie, fruit salad, milk shake, etc.




    One of my favorite things to get for Mother's Day is a homemade card or craft from my kids. I am sure most moms appreciate something that their kids made.  


    What are some of your ideas?


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