Webelos – Naturalist #3 – Terrarium Fun

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This month my son has been working on his Naturalist Activity Badge for his Webelos Den. One of the items on there is to make a terrarium/aquarium and keep it for 1 month. I didn’t feel like feeding any animals, so I talked my son into doing a terrarium with no animals.

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Here are all the components to making this terrarium. It is a little pricey just to warn you. The container was a pretzel container that we saved. The pricey items were the plants and the activated charcoal, which you can get at a pet store  I learned. The charcoal is behind the plastic container.

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First step is to pour in the gravel to allow air to circulate through.

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My son had to go back and consult his manual. He did this project all on his own. In fact, I had to stop him for a moment so that I could snap some shots to share with you.

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Next up is the activated charcoal. I bought a small container which cost me about $11.  You sprinkle the charcoal on the gravel.

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Because the plants were a little pricey ($6.50 each), I only bought two, but they were enough for the container.

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All the sites that I checked about building a terrarium recommends using succulents. I made sure that they were indoor plants. After the charcoal, we put in the soil and the plants.

terrarium9.jpgAfter my son had put in the plants, he ran to the garden and grabbed some rocks and placed them inside as well. He also placed a plastic lion in there for a little fun. Make sure you mist the plants a couple of times and then put the lid on. Other sites suggest that if your container gets foggy, to open the lid to let out some of the moisture.  This was a fun project for him. He took it to scouts to explain it to his other fellow cub scouters how it works. His little brother even wanted in on the terrarium.

Good luck with yours.

Valentine Love

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I’m sure you’re like me and have been surfing Pinterest to find really cute ideas for Valentine’s. I wanted to share a few that I have come across and share the websites that I’ve found them on. Mind you, my youngest is a little boy, so naturally some of these are more for boys, which I figured is ok. You don’t see too many boy Valentine things.

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Star Wars is a big deal in our home, so needless to say that when I spotted these, it had to be pinned. Aren’t these just cute and perfect for boys. These can be found at designwashrinserepeat.com.

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Sara  M Style shared these cute and wild valentines. I think this one is my favorite!! You find these here at her website saramstyle.com.

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I love seeing all the “punny” Valentine quotes. I found these adorable Valentine printables at AmyistheParty.com. Click HERE to get to the pdf.

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I am a sucker for subway art. I don’t want what it is. Maybe it’s the cute fonts put all together. I don’t know, but I’m starting to have a collection for each month. The girls over at Eighteen25.blogspot.com have made these available for free. Go HERE to find the print.

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So, last but not least, I saw this party in a box idea. My kiddos are growing and getting older. I’m hanging onto my baby who’s three right now with all my might. Needless to say, I don’t get too many requests to have Valentine cards ready for school. When I saw this idea, I thought how great! I have nieces and nephews that are still at that cute age where they LOVE this kind of thing. The girls over at TheCraftingChicks.com shared this idea HERE with all of us.

Hope these ideas helped, especially for those of you with boys.

Meatball Sliders

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One of my favorite shows on TV is The Pioneer Woman on FoodNetwork. An episode I happened to catch, had PW making mini-meatball sandwiches. I thought that that would be a great food item to go on a Super Bowl menu. Do you know that I don’t really watch Super Bowl? Most times, I don’t even know who’s playing. I’m just in it for the food and the commercials.

Shall we proceed.

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I pulled out about 2lbs of ground beef and threw in the items I had in my pantry. Using your hand, just get right in there and mix it all up.

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Roll out your meatballs on the large side, about 1 1/2 inches, slightly bigger than a golf ball.

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Normally, I just put all my meatballs in a baking dish and just cook them all that way. I decided that it would be better to have a little bit of a crust on the meatballs, so I cooked them in my pan, just browning the outside. Once the were brown on all sides, I put them in a baking dish and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes to cook all the way through. Make sure to cut a couple meatballs down the middle to make sure the middles aren’t pink.

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After the meatballs are cooked, I put my meatballs back in the pan, and threw in my favorite marinara sauce (mine is Hunts, because it cost me $1.10 a can). Is that bad?

Anyways. I turned the pan on low and let them simmer. While that’s going on, I got crazy and added some cheese —- pepperjack. You could add whatever cheese you want or have on hand. Or you could leave the cheese out all together.

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Throw on the lid and let the cheese melt.

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Ta-Da!!! Doesn’t that look yummy!!!!

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I had Hawaiian Sweet Rolls in my pantry, but let me suggest a hardier roll. These sliders can get quite saucy. You need a roll that can handle that and not get mushy. Let me just say that the slider was still DELICIOUS!!!

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There you have it. Meatball Sliders!! Add that to your Super Bowl menu, or weekday menu, or whatever menu you want.

Enjoy and may all your Super Bowl dreams come true.

MEATBALL SLIDERS

2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup bread crumbs

1 egg

2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 packet dry onion soup mix

1/2 cup milk

1 can/jar of marinara sauce

2 dozen rolls

Mix all these ingredients, except the marinara sauce and rolls, together. If the mixture seems to dry, add a little more milk. If it’s too wet, add a little more bread crumbs.

Roll out ground beef mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Heat up 2 Tbsp of oil and brown meatball on all sides. After browning the meatballs, throw the meatballs in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Check one or two meatballs when done to make sure insides are not pink.

After meatballs are cooked, put them back in the pan and simmer with favorite marinara sauce. This is when you can add in your cheese. Put lid on pan to let cheese melt. Once cheese is melted, serve meatballs on your favorite roll.

Crossing Things Off My List

So on my birthday, I made out a “bucket-list” of things I want to accomplish before my next birthday. It’s kind of a long list. I have been good about referring back to that list and accomplishing a couple things.

One of the BIG things on that list is doing a half-marathon. I know right . . . crazy. My original plan was to do it around September or Octoberish, but after talking to a co-worker, I’m doing it March 1st!! So here it is ——— The Phoenix Marathon.

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Let me just say that I am afraid. I’m afraid of how badly my butt’s gonna get kicked in the training alone. I’m afraid of how badly I will be gasping for air by mile 3. I’m afraid of how much my knees are going to ache after mile 7. I’m afraid of the commitment. I’m afraid of how hot it will be by 7am in March.

I’m afraid I’ll fail ——– epic-ally.

For a while I kept having an internal dialogue about how I already made a commitment to be BRAVE. I needed to ignore all those fears that I have or yes, I will fail.

Yes, it’s going to hurt.Yes, it will be hot.Yes, it will take time away from sleep (but who needs that?).  And yes, there is a strong possibility that I may not be able to run the entire race.

And that’s ok. I just need to suck it up, or sit it out.

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So I looked up a plan for beginners like me. I found one  HERE. Training stated on Monday with week 2. I did 2 miles and I won’t lie . . . I struggled. I saw my co-worker and confessed I was a little worried. She seems to think that I will be fine. I’m glad one of us is positive.

I’ve done a big race before, but it has been a while. So here’s a tip that I’ve learned when committing to a big race:

Have a game plan.

Write it out.

On my calendar, I figured out which days I was going to run on and how many miles.

It makes the goal more real.

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All right!

I’m ready to tackle my first big goal. You can follow along on Instagramm with me to see my progress.

What’s your big goal you’re tackling?

 

 

 

Me, Personally: Be BRAVE!

It’s a new year!! 2014! You know what means . . . NEW YEAR = NEW GOALS.

Being a blogger, I follow many other blogs and get all kinds of inspiration from them. A couple of years ago, the blogger of LESSCAKEMOREFROSTING.COM put on a series where she featured other bloggers and had them, including herself, pick “one little word” for the year to describe them. I enjoyed reading through the posts and seeing what word each person chose.

I decided that I wanted to do that this year. Before the year ended, I knew what word I wanted. When I started creating the graphics for the post, I was having second thoughts. Maybe the word I should choose is CONSISTENT. Or BETTER. I talked about my dilemma with my daughter. There are so many areas in my life that I need to be BETTER at, but in the end figured out that in order to be BETTER, I needed to be BRAVE.

braveheaderOne of my big goals this year, is to work on my blog more. Many times there are things I want to write about, but don’t. Either because I think people wouldn’t care or because I worry about what people would think when they did read it. This is where the BRAVE comes in. I’ve decided that if I’m gonna be a blogger, I need to be BRAVE in what I post and not worry about everyone’s opinions. Otherwise, I have no business being a blogger.  I’m hoping to regularly post things that are on my mind. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. A blogger that I follow right now, Kristen Duke Photography, has inspired me to follow through with this.

I’ve also decided to be BRAVE in my networking with other bloggers. I always feel like it’s a club that I’m not cool enough to be in, but if I am not BRAVE enough to put myself out there, nothing will happen.

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I will be BRAVE in showing more love and affection to my husband and children. It’s sad I know, that I would be shy to show my love. Don’t get me wrong, I do say “I love you” often to my family. I just wasn’t raised where we said “I love you” every time we hung up the phone, or left for the day, but through others’ examples and even some of my children, I’m getting better at it.

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I will be more BRAVE in letting people know what I stand for, and inviting others to learn more about it. By the way, in case you didn’t know, I’m a Mormon. You can read more about that HERE. If you are LDS, have you ever filled out a profile on mormon.org? No? Do it!

Many times, I make goals of doing more service. It’s a commitment I unfortunately don’t follow through with always. I do get shy about it. I always worried about what the person would think. I make many excuses of why I can’t help and then miss the opportunity. On Instagramm the other week, a friend had been talking about how we shouldn’t throw the cliche phrase of “call me if you need anything”, because we know that more times than not, that person won’t call. I never did, when asked the same question, even though I may have at one time or another. A friend responded by sharing how her mother never said that. What she did instead was say, “What time would be good for me to take you to your appointment” or “should I pick up your daughter at 9am or 10am?” I LOVED that! It’s a new approach I think I will adopt.

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I will be BRAVE in reaching out to new people I encounter. I get anxiety doing this, not knowing what to say, but when I put myself in other’s shoes, which I have been before many times, I’ve appreciated so much when someone has noticed that I’m new and need a friend.

 

BRAVE will be my one little word that I will work on for 2014.

What will yours be?

New Year’s Activity Bags


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I have seen this activity posted many tims on pinterest and wasn’t interested in doing it until now. Our New Year’s Eve will be celebrated separately. I have to be at work, my older ones will be at a church dance and my  hubby will be at home with the littles. Soooooo, I decided to make these bags of activities so they had some fun while some of us were gone.

newyear1It’s pretty self-explanatory. I created clocks to put on each bag (you can print those out New Year Bags here). The celebrating will start at 5pm and end of course at midnight. The kids will get to open each bag at each hour to find out what activity they get to do. The great thing about this is that you can do whatever activity you want. So here’s what I did:

5PM: Help make and eat dinner.

6PM: The kids will fill out this sheet and share it with each other.

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You can print this sheet 2013InReview.

7PM: Pick out a movie or TV Show to watch.

8PM: This bag is filled with party hats and tiaras I picked up at the dollar store for the kids to decorate and be ready to celebrate the New Year at midnight.

9PM: I put a new set of Go-Fish cards for them to play a few rounds. If my older ones were home, I would put in UNO or Phase 10 (you could easily play that one until midnight).

10PM: Have a “Just Dance” competition. You could also do a bowling tournament with the Wii as well.

11PM: Make ice-cream sundaes.

12am: This bad will be opened at 11:50pm so that the kids will be ready. This bad has silly string and horns to blow when the clock strikes 12.

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Hope you have a great time celebrating tonight!!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

Fashion Friday

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 It’s another edition of Fashion Friday here at The Busy Coconut. It’s kind of cold around here lately in Arizona, but I haven’t really minded it one bit. In fact, I love when the weather gets cold and its time to start busting out the boots.

So I snapped some shots on my phone of some outfits that I thought were share-worthy.

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Christmas shopping. The white jacket and white flowy blouse were from Sam’s Club. I know, I’m a real high-end shopper. The cardigan making another appearance is from NY&Co. The skinny jeans from Target, along with the boots.

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 This day wasn’t too cold, but just enough to require a sweater. The striped sweater is from Target, along with the Boyfriend jeans. The flats were courtesy of Walmart.

One last outfit.

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There are several things that you are wondering about this picture. Let me put your mind to rest by answering those questions.

YES. I did take a selfie of myself in the bathroom at church . . . and YES, I have no shame. LOL!

I couldn’t help it. I don’t have a full length mirror at home and I was in such a rush this morning, I forgot to have one of my kids snap a shot before we left.

So here’s the breakdown of the outfit: the mint cardigan is from The Gap, the white ruffle shirt from Sam’s Club (again), the gray skirt from Kohl’s, as well as the knee-length boots (my early Christmas present).

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that I am getting to wear my boots. Can you tell? Tell, me. What is your favorite winter wear item?

Holiday Pretzels

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Need a last minute gift idea? Need something that you can whip up real fast? Holiday Pretzels!!I kind of made up that name, but I think it works. I of course found this idea on the beloved Pinterest website.

So here goes. Pay attention now, it gets complicated . . . just kidding.

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Grab a bag of white chocolate chips, white candy melts, whatever is white that’s sweet and will melt. I threw my whole bag of white chips in a microwave safe bowl and melted the chips 30 seconds at a time until all the chips were melted.

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Add in your holiday pretzels. I picked up mine at Sam’s Club. I’m sure they have a Costco version. I love that have these cute Christmas shapes: tree, star, and bell.

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Gently submerge your pretzels under the melted white chips. You can use a fork to remove the pretzels. I tried to let the white chocolate drip off, that way you could see the shapes of the pretzels better.

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I placed the pretzels down and then sprinkled them with some Christmas sprinkles. Walmart was selling the Christmas sprinkles before the chocolate cooled. You will know if your chocolate has cooled down too much. The sprinkles will just bounce off the pretzels. LOL.

Now, I thought I was being clever by placing the pretzels on the cooling rack.I did that thinking that the chocolate would drip off better but it didn’t really.In fact, it stuck more to the rack when it dried, so it was a little harder to remove.

My recommendation is to place them on a piece of wax or parchment paper, then you can easily peel them off once the chocolate has dried.

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TA-DA!!

They are really good, so don’t make them when you are hungry because you probably won’t have enough to give away.

I made a batch and gave them away to some friends. I created some gift tags to attach to whatever plate of goodies you are giving away. Just click gift tags to download and print.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!!