Saturday, July 30, 2011

Traveling results

We are now home from our trip to Oceanside, CA.  What a trip.  We were gone 7 days and had a great time.  I thought I would share what worked the best for traveling plus our favorite activities in Oceanside.

What entertained my 3 year old the best in the car
Coloring book from the dollar store.  We were working on coloring the whole picture instead of just one little scribble then turning the page to the next picture.  When I would help direct her she was entertained with this for quite a while.

5 year old--
Winnie the pooh book on tape and car bingo from

8 year old--
He spent over an hour working on Mad Libs on his own.  He really liked this

10 year old--
He loves to read so he spent most of the drive reading Harry Potter.

Group Activities that we enjoyed in the car
We rented a Red Box on the way home and watched Gnomeo and Juliet
We watched two musicals, Joseph and the Technicolored Dream Coat and Fiddler on the Roof.  I'm surprised how much they enjoyed these musicals, and its fun to hear while driving as well.
License Plate Game--The older kids enjoyed this and it helped them with some geography as well  Print off this easy map to play.
pipe cleaner creations--This was a hit.  I brought some colored pipe cleaners and gave each child 3 and they got to make what ever creation they wanted.  My girls wanted to do this game a few times.

Best Snacks in the car
Pretzels, Licorice, Beef Jerky, Travel Yogurts, cookies,

Food for the Trip
Pumpkin bread (frozen before to take)
Sweet Chex Mix
Chocolate Chip Cookies (made ahead and put in ziplocks in freezer)
Homemade bread for Sandwiches (freeze before hand)--we ate lots of PB&J's for lunch
Muffins (wrap in saran wrap and freeze in a ziplock)
Fruit and Veggies (You can take them over the CA border as long as they are store bought)
crackers, summer sausage, and cheese (had the meat department slice for me)
Kershaw Camp Tool-great to take to cut bread, sausage and cheese, melons, and the oranges we brought.  It has a cutting board and multiple tools that can attach to the handles.  A great buy that we will take camping and to picnics.

Oceanside Favorite Activities
Unstructured Time on the beach:  building sand castles,  boogie boarding, Frisbee throwing, burying people in the sand, reading
Mormon Battalion Museum--This was the best attraction in Old Town San Diego.  Recently remodeled and just a beautiful site!  So well done, free, and air conditioned.  The kids loved the interactive tour and then panning for gold.  Definitely a must see!
Balboa Park--We spent a day here and could have spent another day.  Beautiful gardens, free parking, concert in the park, playgrounds with tons of shade, museums galore, water fountains.  We spent the majority of the day at the Natural History Museum and learned about Penguins, polar bears, dinosaurs, gems, and 3D videos.  (We had 2/1 Happening Book coupons which made it much more affordable)
Coaster to Old Town.  This was more expensive then driving and parking but was exciting to see a different view of San Diego.  On the way home we traveled with many commuters and I had a nice visit with a gentleman coming home from work.  Tickets for 5 and up were 10-13 dollars.  The boys also took this home from the Padre Game which worked out well.
Seal Watching in La Jolla at the Children's Pool--This was fun but the parking situation was crazy.  Maybe this would be less busy on the weekday.
Oceanside Farmer's Market and Sunset Market.  This is every Thursday and had tons of vendors.  We didn't make it to the Farmer's Market because this was in the morning.  Live entertainment, food, kids corner and more.
We loved being with our family and enjoyed the nice weather of Oceanside, CA.  We will remember this forever.  But really the most important thing is we were with family and spent time with each other.  This could be done anywhere really.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Traveling with kids

We are going on a long drive soon and I mentioned this to a friend and she gave me a great little booklet with awesome ideas to keep kids happy for the drive.  I go bonkers when the kids are fighting in the car!  I really hope some of these ideas will help.  We did get a DVD player for the van which will help.
Some of the things in our bag of goodies is a:
1.Travel Tray
Magnetic because it's made from a cookie sheet.  Contact paper is on one side so it can be written on with dry erase markers.  Other side has a file folder I taped together with a few games in it like, travel bingo, and tic tac toe and dot game.  I also printed off a blank US map I found on-line for the license plate game.  These travel trays can also double as snack trays as well.  This cost me three dollars because I used what I had at home and bought the trays and markers from All a dollar.
2-Boredom Buster can--Inside there are little games you can do with the family.  Here is a few examples:

Your Monkey’s Mustache-  One person is “It”  The others select a phrase that it must answer to every question.  The answer can be “your monkey’s mustache” or “six smelly sneakers.”  Then each person in the group gets to ask a question such as, “Who is your best friend? Or "What are you going to eat for dinner tonight?  The person who is it has to keep from laughing.  The winner is the biggest grouch.

Alphabet words- Starting with A find words on signs that begins with each alphabet letter.  The first person might spot the word “all” on a road sign and the second might spot the word “brake.”  After you get through the alphabet, find all the numbers from 1 to 100.

Gummy bear contest:  See who can suck on a Gummy Bear and make it last the longest-you can do this with life savers or other candy.

Counting Cows-Play as individuals or teams.  First decide on a destination where you will stop counting.  Then, count the cows on your side of the road.  The goal is to have the highest number when the destination is reached.  Pass a cemetery on your side and you have to start over again.  If there aren’t any cows on your route, you can count yellow cars, mailboxes, etc.

Twenty Questions—one player thins of a famous person, place or thing.  Everyone else gets to ask the player 20 questions, which must be answered “yes” or “no”  Whoever guesses correctly gets a turn to think up something.

Geography-Start with any place in the world—Kansas, for example,  The next person has to think of a place that begins with the last letter of Kansas such as South Africa.  The next person needs a place that starts with A.  You can not use the same place twice in the game and it has to be a real place.

Rock Paper Scissors- Two players each put one hand behind their backs.  Each person turns that hand into scissors, using the index and middle fingers; or paper, by holding the hand flat with the fingers straight; or a rock, by making a fist.  Both players say One two three, and show their hands.  The scissors beats paper because it cuts paper.  Paper winds over rock because it can wrap up the rock.  And rock beats scissors because it makes them blunt.

License plate ID—See how many different states you can identify on license plates.  Use a copy of a US map and color each state as you see the license plate.

License plate lingo-The goal of this game is to come up with a phrase using the letters on another car’s plate.  So if you see the plate LMT 823 the first person to call out a somewhat logical phrase such as Love me Tender or Lost my tooth earns a point.

Thumb wrestling-This is a little more active game but still can be done in the car with non drivers. 
One minute of words—everybody gets a pencil and paper.  Choose someone to be the time keeper.  The timekeeper picks out a letter and tells it to everyone and shouts “Go!”  Players write as many words as possible that start with that letter.  When the minute is up the player who has written the most legitimate words wins

3.  A few activity books we already had like:  Mad Libs, hangman, dot to dot with numbers
4.  A book to read to the whole family (we are reading the Chronicles of Narnia
5.  Three new coloring book/activity book we got at Dollar Tree
6.  Baggies of Crayons
7.  A few pencils
8.  Pipe cleaner for one of the games in the Boredom Buster bottle
Contents spilled out

Filled bag with all our stuff!

This is our bag full of our travel goodies.
Other Items to Bring:
Book on tape to listen to.
I pod with our favorite tunes.
Individual Reading book for each child
Thermos with ice and water to refill kids water bottles
Snacks that don't make a big mess (licorice, carrot sticks and bell peppers, beef jerky, granola bars, trail mix in individual snack packs, grapes, animal crackers)

Got any other ideas for our long hours in the car?  I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Recipe Blogs and Website Links for Healthy Food

My awesome cousin Beth sent me these great website links for Healthy food.  She also has an awesome blog called Liz Eats Food that I think is fun.  Check it out!  Hope this helps.

"This is one I turn to often:  Laura is very good about the quality of food she buys and has a good balance of healthy and practical.  I get lost in her posts often because she is so inspirational.  :)

This one is a bit more "strict" on the kinds of food they eat:  Tammie's family doesn't eat diary or meat.  Everything else is as unprocessed as possible.  She was in my ward in Eagle Mountain.  When we changed our eating habits, I turned to her for guidance.  I learned so much from her and followed much of her advice for about 3 months.  We all felt SO good!!!  Then the holidays hit.

Since then I've had to really look at what will work for our family and feel that I've come to a good place.  Part of my problem was that we had a lot of food storage that didn't work with our new lifestyle.  Like white flour, sugar, white rice, etc.  So now I only buy items that work with our new habits, but to use the stuff in our storage I will mix it.  Like all the rice I made.  When I go to use it, I will use a bag of white and a bag of brown.  Same when I make bread or cook pasta.  So if you look at the recipes on my blog and see that I still use white flour or sugar, etc. that's why.  :)  I actually hate doing it, but I can't just throw it out.

Now when I find recipes, I just adapt them to our lifestyle.  Like this one:  She has a lot of good recipes, I just tweek them.  I really like as well.  Same idea though.  Adjust them to fit our needs.

I think following Tammie's recipes helped me see what "healthy" really was.  We don't eat a lot of processed food as it is, but cutting out and changing what we did was very cleansing.  Now I have a hard time eating foods that before didn't bother me at all.  And I see effects from food in my kids that I didn't see before either.  I'm glad though, because from what I learned it just helps me be more aware of what I am feeding my family.  So I am a lot more picky about the quality of the food I buy and the quantity in which I consume it.  I eat to live.  Not live to eat.

As I read back over this, it feels very vague.  But I don't want to put my personal beliefs and opinions in here too much and taint or sway your choices.  I am interested in hearing about what you decide to do though!  Oh yeah, go look up Tammie's green smoothies.  Delicious!  There is actually a Green Smoothie Girl, but I haven't found any of her recipes on her website.  So we make up our own."

Monday, July 11, 2011


It's 7/11 and a great time to take a walk or bike ride down to your local 7-11 store and get a free Slurpee.  My kids had the best time choosing what flavor and drinking down their mini Slurpee.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Healthy Living

I love learning!  Tonight I went to a class on healthy living.  Kristen Bowen gave us some great tips to help us feel healthy and how to pass it on to our family.  She suggested that if you wanted your children and husband to be living healthy you make the change yourself first and be the example and encourage but don't nag.

  • Use Celtic Sea Salt--put in in your salt shakers.  But if you feel stressed during the day you can put 1/2 tsp in a glass of water and drink.  This will mineralize your adrenals.  You can do this up to four times a day.  
  • Drink more water--Drink half your weight of water in ounces plus add 25 oz to that.  Example if you weigh 175 pounds you should drink about 112 oz of water a day.  That's a lot.  If you are eating a lot of water rich foods like fruits and vegetables then this could help. I say you better be close to a toilet during the day!
  • Drink a glass of water right when you wake up and then wait a half hour before you eat breakfast.  This will help with your digestion.  
  • If you have a hard time with digestion and pains regular try to not drink while eating your meals.  Drink your water before and after meals. 
  • Exercise everyday.  She recommends rebounding exercise on a mini trampoline helps with your lymph health
  • Neutralize your diet by cutting out white flours and sugars and adding more green leafy vegetables
  • Add more Magnesium in your life.  It's very hard to get enough magnesium through your diet so she recommends doing trans dermal magnesium (foot baths) --I'm still not sure on this one personally because it's pricey and I couldn't see much research on it.  Let me know if you heard of this.
  • Add Chia Seeds to your diet--only get the dark seeds.  --High in fiber, good for digestion, high in Omega 3
  • She soaks the seeds overnight with 1 part seeds and 8 parts water and puts 1/4 cup/person in smoothies.  
  • Stay away from Caffeine and energy drinks.  Energy drinks actually creates holes in your pancreas.  
  • For UTI's use d-mannose.  An alternative way to treat can use with little girls as well

I was really impressed with Kristen and will try to do a few of the things she has suggested.  Kristen Bowen has a blog and a radio show every Saturday Mornings.  Check out her website.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Half Day Summer Camps

Stokes Nature Center has some fun Summer Camps available.  
Knee High Naturalists for ages 4-7
Thursday, July 7, 9am-12pm
Tuesday, August 2, 1-4 pm
Thursday, August 4, 9 am-12pm

Totally Trees for ages 4-7 and 8-12
Tuesday, July 19, 1-4 pm (ages 4-7)
Thursday, July 21, 9 am-12 pm (ages 8-12)

All classes are $30
Register by calling 435-755-3239 or at

These look like some fun and educational classes that will get your kids outside.