Friday, August 31, 2012

Fisher Price Friday - Creative Coaster & Blocks

I've got a new Vintage Fisher Price toy to show off today on Fisher Price Friday.  The Creative Coaster #987.  I recently saw it online and had to have it for my baby-girl.  She is just the right age for this adorable toy.  Her big sister likes it too, especially the blocks.

The Creative Coaster is a wood and plastic ride on toy that was made from 1964-1982.  The Coaster was inspired by the 1961 Creative Block Wagon.  Basically they took the wagon base and added a plastic seat and hinged steering stick with a wheel on top.  

The Coaster can either have a yellow or blue seat and blue or yellow dowels holding it up.  Notice the lithograph of a speedometer in the front.

The back has a lithograph of a license plate with the FP logo and the toy number 987.

This sweet little coaster was made to ride!  My baby-girl figured it out pretty quickly and climbed right on.

There is a horn in the middle of the steering wheel that makes a beep beep sound.

Each side of the coaster has the brightly colored Fisher Price name and logo.

Inside the coaster bottom it's a bit dirty (normal since little feet and shoes have been there) but you can see the directions for "creative play" and ideas of what the blocks can make.

The front of the coaster is adorable.  I love the "headlights" and notice the license plate looking numbers (it's the toy number 987 again).

The original set came with 18 blocks made of plastic.  The blocks were in sets of 6 different colors: blue, green, orange, yellow, purple and red.  The shapes were triangles, circles and squares.  They fit on 6 wooden dowels made in each of the different colors. 

I bought my coaster on Ebay and it didn't come with blocks or dowels.  However, a lovely FB Fisher Price friend (thanks Janna!) sent me a box of Creative Blocks #666.  Yes, that's right Fisher Price numbered a toy 666.  Anyway, the Creative Blocks set was made from 1978-1990 and came with 4 round shaped blocks, 4 square shape blocks and 6 pie shaped blocks.  It also came with 4 plastic dowels in the colors yellow, orange, purple and blue.

We are thrilled to have these fun blocks with our coaster.  I'm not sure what baby-girl likes more, the blocks, dowels or the coaster!

Happy riding!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Free Home Depot Kids Workshop this weekend!

It's that time again, another free Home Depot Kids Workshop is this Saturday from 9-12.  This month's activity is described as a "Goal Post Football Game".  My daughter has no idea what football is but I'm sure she'll love making it.  I can also promise you that it will probably be pink.

Last month she made a bulletin board.  As usual it was purple and pink.  She did get a little crazy and add some blue though so that's progress.

Good thing she had goggles in case the gluing got out of control.  Ha!

The finished product!  Who says you can't paint on the actual board part? ;)

For more information and to find a participating Home Depot near you check here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

(semi) wordless wednesday - summer storms in Zion

Last week we stayed at the most marvelous Cable Mountain Lodge in Springdale (UT) at the entrance to the Zion National Park.  One day we took a walk as a storm was a-brewing.

We found a lovely little trail lined with bunches and bunches of yellow sunflowers.

As we walked along I kept an eye on the sky as it darkened.

We made it back just as the drops began to fall.

The girls and I made ourselves comfortable on the porch.

Baby-girl was mesmerized by the falling rain, lightning and booming thunder.

I made myself a cup of tea and enjoyed the show.  Wish I was there right now!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What I missed most while on vacation.

I just returned from the most lovely family trip to Zion National Park, Midway UT and Page AZ.  Notice that I said family "trip" and not family "vacation".  When you have a 1 year old and a 4 year old it is not a vacation, just a change of scenery.  And let me tell you, this trip had AMAZING scenery.  I can't wait to show you some of the photos I took, or even better some of the ones my husband took.  We have over 1000 images to look through so it may take awhile.

We stayed in some great accommodations during our trip so I didn't want for many home conveniences except one.  Can you guess?

Yes, my oh-so-loved Keurig coffee machine.  How I longed for one of those beautiful little K-cups on quite a few mornings.  The hotel coffee makers DO not compare.

This morning I made the best iced coffee to start my day.  Ahh, to be home.  I just got an email that Starbucks sells their K-cups online now.  A perfect combo!

Now at Starbucks: 17.95 for Coffee K Cups, 16.95 for Tea K Cups on 8/24 through 9/3.


I've got lots more to share about our trip including how we survived almost 25hrs in a car with two small children!  Also my favorite shave ice shop in Zion and my sister-in-law's amazing waffle recipe.  So stay tuned!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

zucchini chips recipe

Baked Zucchini Chips
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup milk
1 large zucchini cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices

Preheat oven to 425° F.  Spray a large oven-proof wire rack with non-stick spray and set on a baking sheet. (I used the same rack that is used for my baked red potato chips).  Whisk together bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt, onion powder and pepper in a medium bowl. Place milk in a separate shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk then in breadcrumb mixture patting the crumbs on. Place slices on wire rack. Repeat until all are coated. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

The zucchini chips went fast, even baby-girl ate one.  Don't let her face here fool you, she loved them too!  They are best the first day, not so great for leftovers so feel free to eat a bunch.  They are veggies after all. ;)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fisher Price Friday - Play Family Snowmobile

Today on Fisher Price Friday let's pretend that it's not the hottest part of summer.  Let's take to the slopes with the Play Family Mini Snowmobile #705 instead.  The mini snowmobile was made from 1971-1973.  The set came with a snowmobile with detachable sled and matching runners.  The runners could either be black or red but should always match.  The windshield can be either red or black as well but should match the runner.  The inside of the snowmobile can be either red or black but is the opposite of the runners.  Got all that? ;)

The set came with three people; two children and a dog.  The children were a boy and a girl, both with aqua bodies.  They had wood bodies and either a wood or plastic head depending on the year it was made.  Lucky the dog should have a red collar and in the original version he had the metal rivet holding his ears down.

The little girl pictured is the original one, but I am missing her brother.  He would have a red hat worn sideways, freckles and a big grin.  He was enjoying the snow after all!

The snowmobile holds two little people who bounce up and down when you move it.  It has a windshield on the front and lithographs on each side.  The sled in the back seats one and has a matching hitch to connect it with the snowmobile.  It is always yellow.

Each side of the snowmobile has the same turquoise lithograph.  It has a delicate snowflake with the Fisher Price logo inside.  Also the words "mini Snow mobile" and the year 1970.

Inside the snowmobile there is a little lithograph of a control panel.

Maybe it's wishful thinking since it's so hot in Phoenix but I can imagine the cold winter air looking at this toy.  Although I wouldn't recommend letting a dog drive.  Ha!

If you want one too I've got one for sale right now in my Etsy shop
ETA: Whoa, that one went fast.  It's sold now but check out my store, I may have another goodie you'd enjoy. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Clay Babies from Fox Island

What do these interesting looking rocks look like to you?

These are clay babies (sometimes referred to as claybabies).  When you take clay and tidal waters in just the right circumstances you get these fabulous one-of-a-kind formations.  Over time the water swirls around the clay banks and creates shapes that eventually pop off and float away, to be discovered by eager beach combers.  They are also known as "concretions" which are defined as "a rounded mass of mineral matter found in sedimentary rock".  I think they are the cutest little rock people, animals or shapes.  They are whatever your imagination sees!

I grew up seeing clay babies and had no idea how special they were.  Besides being cute they are only created in two places on this entire planet (the other being New Zealand) and my grandmother's house in Washington State just happened to be near one of them.  So I saw them at her house frequently or would find them on the beach in front of her house.  My parents live there now and my mom has baskets full of them.

My niece and baby-girl sorting through the baskets.

This summer when we went out for a visit I learned about their uniqueness.  My girls were also interested in these funny looking "rocks".  My 4 year old was oh-so-happy to add them to her existing rock collection.  My baby was thrilled to have something else to put in her mouth. ;)  

This is where the magic happens on Fox Island.  There are often people walking these beaches looking for clay babies, they make the perfect trip souvenir.  I also found a woman collecting them to be sold on eBay at $5 a pop!  I've heard that they just recently closed this beach to the public though, and you can only get access through a group permit.  Hopefully this is only temporary because this beach is such a gem!

Here are a few of my mom's.  I think the one on the right looks like a dachshund and the one on the left resembles a really big turtle.

I read about a marvelous Indian Legend to explain where clay babies come from.  This is from the Fox Island Museum:

According to an old Indian legend, an Indian maiden used to play there in the sand, many many years ago and shape the mud into various forms.

When the girl grows up she is sought by Indian men near and far, but none suited her until a mysterious young brave appeared to her as she walked along the beach. Eventually the brave wins her over – the only condition is that she must live with him beneath the surface of the water because he is the son of the old man of the sea. She goes back and forth between her life under the sea and her life on land, but after a while she starts growing kelp on her face, and her parents tell her that she probably should not return anymore. Now when she becomes homesick for her old home, she goes to her former playground and makes the odd shapes which visitors find on Fox Island’s beaches.

My mom and daughter looking for treasures on Fox Island.

We took a few home and I have them displayed in my bathroom.  A fun reminder of our summer adventures at the beach.  

Until next summer! (and yes, my daughter is wearing a sweatshirt and we were there in JULY!!, so different from Phoenix)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How not to stink (natural deodorant secrets).

As you know I live in hot-hot Phoenix.  Let's just say that high temperatures make it a big challenge to stay, ahem, not-so-stinky. ;)  To add to the challenge I only use natural deodorants, no antiperspirant or fancy chemicals for me!  The products above are just a few of the ones I've tried.  I've found that if I switch up the brand from time to time they work better.  I also strangely enough had some work great while I was pregnant and some not work at all, even though they had worked before.   

When the temperatures are high in the summer none of these deodorants work all day though, so I have a couple secrets to keep me smelling like a rose.  Well, not a rose but not a skunk either.  And the best news is that you most likely already have everything you need!

Alcohol.  That's it.  Alcohol instantly takes away the stink because it kills the bacteria, which is what you are smelling.  I use rubbing alcohol and put it in a small spray bottle that I already had.  A couple spritzes and I'm good as new.  You could put a bottle this size in your bag and it would be pretty discreet. 

If you like fragrances you could also try a body spray directly in your armpits.  Most of the body sprays have a high alcohol content, just check the label to be sure.

Now, if you are out and about and don't have a bottle of alcohol nearby you can always use hand sanitizer.  Most hand sanitizer is almost all alcohol (unless you have a natural brand).  It is a little harder to be discreet when putting sanitizer in your pits, but with a little practice I'm sure you can be sly like me. ;)  Another bonus to hand sanitizer is that these days it is everywhere!  You can get it quickly in many public restrooms, stores or restaurants.

If you have any other natural non-stink secrets please pass them on.  Oh, and if I ask to borrow your hand sanitizer it might not be for my hands.  Ha! 

Here's to not stinking!