504 Main by Holly Lefevre: summer
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

8.06.2013

Dilly Summer Squash and Lentil Pasta Salad (Pasta Package Giveaway)

We are a pasta family.
We love pasta...in all shapes and forms.
My kids favorite...bow tie!
My hubby's favorite...spaghetti!
My favorite...any!



What is a constant is that we use whole wheat pasta rich in whole grain
Good quality, tasty whole wheat pasta like Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pasta 
can truly bring out the best in your pasta dish. I was excited to receive a selection of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pastas to create a new recipe for their Summer Pastabilities  contest. (Um, yeah...I just might have won the Have a Grain Holiday Contest!)

6.10.2013

Angels and Monsters in the Garden (Outdoor Fun)

This is a crazy easy and super fun project that (almost) anyone can do...and it is pretty cheap (and I have shared this before here...but it is too good not to share again!). I first did this project with my son when we moved into our house 8 years ago. I had quite a few of (single) fence pickets left over from our "keep the doggie from jumping the fence project," and we knew no one in the neighborhood yet so my imagination was the source of entertainment for my son.
We loved being outside in our garden, so we grabbed our fence pickets, paint, and all sorts of other objects and goodies and made garden angels.
This is a more recent recreation of that project!
(I was not a crazy blogger back then)

5.20.2013

EASY Summer Fun: How to Build A Cardboard Bridge

I am exhausted and taking care of some personal business...
and trying to help out with end of the school year activities for my kids.
My kids only have 6 days of school left so I am REALLY thinking about SUMMER!
(I need to get on it. A.S.A.P.!)
Here is one of the activities we did last year
and it has continued to be a popular choice for my kids year round.
(This is a repost)
Image credit: bortn66 / 123RF Stock Photo 

Eight years ago today we moved into this house.
My son and I knew no one and were bored...very bored.
I used our moving boxes to make houses, dump trucks, and rocket ships.
The rocket ship actually survived for 3 years!



I had forgotten all about this...
Until my memory was jogged when I was at the Maker Faire with Delta Faucet. We came across the Berkeley Institute of Design's Crowd-Powered Bridge Design and Research Project. I was reminded of the rockets ship and thought this would make a fun summer activity for my kids and their friends.

The exhibit at the Maker Faire

Fast forward to today...we had some friends over to celebrate my son's birthday
and I had tons of cardboard...
and thought, let's give this a shot!

We had 2 groups of kids:
older kids ranging from 9-11 years old and
younger kids ranging from 5 to 8 year old.

At first they seemed hesitant, but ready to give it a go.
I showed them the photo I took at the Maker Faire
and the older kids went with it-
taping, ripping, and building with cardboard for a couple of hours.


The younger kids needed a bit of help, but also got in on the action...
first they drew some picture to decorate it -
that was more important to the little ones.


Here is how to do it and what you need
to make your own bridge/ramp/contraption!

SUPPLIES
Cardboard: boxes, shoe boxes, poster board, craft paper - whatever you have around! I picked up a few rolls of kraft/shipping paper at the dollar store just in case.

Tape: No need to get high quality tape...I bought the $1 tape and clear packing tape from the dollar store too. I figured the cheaper tape was fine, since I do not plan on keeping these forever. (just FYI - it has a strong scent so use in a ventilated area)

Scissors (optional)

MAKE IT!

  1. Gather the kids.
  2. Suggested they collaborate first and draw a picture so each kid could visualize the end goal. I think this helps the kids combine forces more easily.
  3. Explain to them they are to work together to create a bridge or tower or whatever you want using only the cardboard and tape. At the Maker Faire the goal was to get a small toy car to roll over the bridge and for it to be high enough for a toy cardboard boat to go under the bridge. Our goal was that Jules could ride her trike under it.
  4. Give them each a roll of tape.
  5. Then turn them loose....it took a bit for them to start clicking...but then they did and worked together to build this bridge (or ramp).



Well, my visions of a grand bridge did not quite materialize.
The kids bridge looked like a ramp.

 They proceeded to launch the empty rolls of tape and Hot Wheels cars and Zoobles off of it. The Trike did fit under it...but most importantly, they had fun in the sun for hours and worked together to get a finished project.

The little kids also created a smaller version of a "bridge"
(or something!) and enjoyed it too.

Moral of the story...
everyday recyclables and things laying around the house and provide hours of fun and teach the kiddos a little something this summer!

The kids actually asked when they can do this again...
now, that is a winner idea in my book!

Do you have any simple, cheap, and easy idea for summer?


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This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre

6.25.2012

Kids and Cardboard: Cheap and Easy Fun!

Seven years ago today we moved into this house.
My son and I knew no one and were bored...very bored.
I used our moving boxes to make houses, dump trucks, and rocket ships.
The rocket ship actually survived for 3 years!
Image credit: bortn66 / 123RF Stock Photo 


I had forgotten all about this...
Until my memory was jogged when I was at the Maker Faire with Delta Faucet. We came across the Berkeley Institute of Design's Crowd-Powered Bridge Design and Research Project. I was reminded of the rockets ship and thought this would make a fun summer activity for my kids and their friends.

The exhibit at the Maker Faire

Fast forward to today...we had some friends over to celebrate my son's birthday
and I had tons of cardboard...
and thought, let's give this a shot!

We had 2 groups of kids:
older kids ranging from 9-11 years old and
younger kids ranging from 5 to 8 year old.

At first they seemed hesitant, but ready to give it a go.
I showed them the photo I took at the Maker Faire
and the older kids went with it-
taping, ripping, and building with cardboard for a couple of hours.


The younger kids needed a bit of help, but also got in on the action...
first they drew some picture to decorate it -
that was more important to the little ones.


Here is how to do it and what you need
to make your own bridge/ramp/contraption!

SUPPLIES
Cardboard: boxes, shoe boxes, poster board, craft paper - whatever you have around! I picked up a few rolls of kraft/shipping paper at the dollar store just in case.

Tape: No need to get high quality tape...I bought the $1 tape and clear packing tape from the dollar store too. I figured the cheaper tape was fine, since I do not plan on keeping these forever. (just FYI - it has a strong scent so use in a ventilated area)

Scissors (optional)

MAKE IT!

  1. Gather the kids.
  2. Suggested they collaborate first and draw a picture so each kid could visualize the end goal. I think this helps the kids combine forces more easily.
  3. Explain to them they are to work together to create a bridge or tower or whatever you want using only the cardboard and tape. At the Maker Faire the goal was to get a small toy car to roll over the bridge and for it to be high enough for a toy cardboard boat to go under the bridge. Our goal was that Jules could ride her trike under it.
  4. Give them each a roll of tape.
  5. Then turn them loose....it took a bit for them to start clicking...but then they did and worked together to build this bridge (or ramp).


Well, my visions of a grand bridge did not quite materialize.
The kids bridge looked like a ramp.

 They proceeded to launch the empty rolls of tape and Hot Wheels cars and Zoobles off of it. The Trike did fit under it...but most importantly, they had fun in the sun for hours and worked together to get a finished project.

The little kids also created a smaller version of a "bridge"
(or something!) and enjoyed it too.

Moral of the story...
everyday recyclables and things laying around the house and provide hours of fun and teach the kiddos a little something this summer!

The kids actually asked when they can do this again...
now, that is a winner idea in my book!

Do you have any simple, cheap, and easy idea for summer?

Signature



6.05.2012

Giveaway: O'Keeffe's for Healthy Feet - CLOSED

Sandal Season is HERE!
 And if you are like me,
you are realizing that your feet may need a little love
before they make their Summer debut.




I remember the days when I had time to get a mani and pedi every week.
Yes, every week.
That was my indulgence...
and I needed it.
I like to be barefoot,
which is not so good for maintaining pretty feet.

But for my own health,
I have learned it is not just about having pretty looking feet,
but I need healthy feet too.

I never really thought about the importance of the health of my feet before.
Then I started poking around the O'Keeffe's website.

"Skin is the largest organ in your body and its your first line of defense against infection."
So dry cracked feet is not only "not pretty" but also not healthy.

O'Keeffe's for Healthy Feet is formulated with to provide better absorption of moisture through thick skin like on the feet and the heels.

You can read more about O'Keeffe's 3 Step Process
for promoting the healing of dry, damaged skin here.

I have been using O'Keeffe's for a few weeks now and have noticed a remarkable difference in my feet. The cracked heels are gone, my feet feel smooth and they even look good! (I will spare you a photo of my feet!).

With O'Keeffe's for Healthy Feet I feel like I do a little good for my feet every day!
AND
and get ready for Sandal Season!


GIVEAWAY CLOSED
GIVEAWAY with 5 WINNERS
Each winner gets 5 jars of O'Keeffe's for Healthy Feet
Open to U.S. Residents
Runs from 6/5/12 through 6/10/12 at midnight PST


Enter- MANDATORY
Sign up for the O'Keeffe's newsletter...come back and leave me a comment letting me know you did


Optional, but highly recommended....Be sure to Like Okeefe's on facebook so you can keep with the latest tips and ideas for keeping your feet and hands healthy!


Optional : Share the giveaway on Twitter/Facebook or your blog (leave the url here)
Sample tweet: Sandal Season is here! Get healthy feet with @O'Keefes Company. Great giveaway @504main! www.504main.com"


Optional: Tell me hat is your favorite nail/toe polish color!




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GIVEAWAY CLOSED 
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disclosure: I was provided with O'Keeffe's for Healthy Feet O'Keeffe's Working Hands to review.

5.07.2012

Making Memories by the Grill #GrillingisHappiness

 One time in elementary school,
my class was asked to draw a picture of a family tradition…
and I drew a picture of my family grilling.
At the time I felt embarrassed that this was my tradition…
but overtime, I grew to realize it was about so much more than grilling.
The fact that we grilled virtually year round and
our home was always open to friends and family brought
us together and gave us a lot of fond memories.
grilling is happinesss sign
I grew up in Southern California, where it is seemingly always 70 and sunny,
so it makes perfect sense to grill year round!
Grilling was not reserved for the weekend or a camp out or a holiday…
it was a mealtime staple.

I want my kids to have the same fun memories -
setting the table, helping pull the meal together,
selecting a special treat to grill after the meal.
It is one more way to bring us all together as a family and
capture that bit of happiness that lies in every day.
jules and joe with sign

8.10.2011

Family Adventure: Gold Rush 2011

When it comes time to plan a family vacation - no matter how long or short, how exotic or not, how near or far, there is a lot of discussion at our house - everyone has an opinion...even the four year old! I am basically a traveling chicken - I do it and I always end up loving it (yes, my hubby drug me to Europe and I complained and now I cannot wait to take the kids).
My son, however, has the traveling bug in his genes (his meimaw does too). Forget camping, he dreams of active vacations and adventures like a European Bike tour. Seriously, when he reads a book about a locale or activity he wants to experience it.

I just recently became acquainted with Austin Lehman Adventures, and we were invited to take the Austin Lehman Active Family Challenge. It is exactly what we need to get us moving on a mini-excursion this summer. We had been planning a trip to Gold Country - I am not sure who wanted to go more...me or my son! And we packed up the car and hit the road a couple of weeks ago to look for "gold in them there hills."
For us, the trick is finding a good balance when we plan a vacation or adventure - with a 4 year old and a 10 year old we have to cover a range of activities. I find we need to keep busy - Family Adventures that keeps us occupied, interested, and moving work well for the age span.  That is why we chose the trip we did - a quick getaway to be together, learn a little bit about the history of the Golden State, and live out the adventure of being a Miner '49er.
We started our trip with ice cream (a sure crowd-pleaser) and a trip to Sutter's Fort (a California State Historic Park) and Old Sacramento before we hit historic Highway 49 in search of gold! And oh my those kids were giddy - Joe was enthralled with all of the trip - listening and reading about the history as well as panning for gold and gemstones. He drank in every second of the adventure. I asked him what the best part of his trip was..."Spending time with my family...and finding gold."
(a bit of pouting was involved)
************************
Here's what we did: armed with a map - yes a real map - nothing electronic, we left Sacramento to hit the Gold Trail. Our first stop was at the Gold Bug Mine in Placerville. We got our hard hats and toured the mine. The area we could walk was not a big but to think this was a a real mine from the 1850's and we were walking where miners once looked for their fortune was truly amazing. They also provided an audio tour that detailed interesting aspects of the mine.

Once we completed the short self-guided tour, the real fun began...we went panning for...gemstones! (this particular mine offers panning for gemstones...no gold) Seriously though, my kids thought this was the BEST...in fact they were making piles of rocks (not even gemstones...my kids happen to love rocks. After collection a nice little stash of pretty stones...and rocks, we headed to Sutter Gold Mine. This was a much larger mine, but we did not go into the mine itself (Next time! Yes there will be a next time).

************************
Sutter Gold Mine does have gold panning...wooo-whooo! A little different than I imagined...you purchase a bag of sand that has gold flecks in it, take it to the through outside and pan using their water.
This is where Mommy made a mistake (and the nice boy working there said I am not the only one who has done this)...you are supposed to dump your bag of sand into the pan and then swish and dip to filter out the rock and sand, leaving the gold...not me...I dumped the bag into the trough of water, as my hubby was saying "Noooooo...." in slow motion. OOPS! I am happy to report that with the help of the nice boy (teenager) and some diligence - we did get some gold.

The kids also were allowed to select a piece of core from the mine. Joe took the biggest piece he could find...Jules the sharpest.
(Yep, that is our fortune...See we are rich...NOT!)
************************
The last stop, Colombia State Park near Sonora. Colombia was established in 1850 and has always been a functioning town (in various levels of prosperity and decline throughout the years). Much of the city was destroyed by fire through the early years, but have been rebuilt to replicate the charm and history of its origins.

I adored being here - charming, historic, quaint. I could have spent days in and around the area. (And I love supporting a State Park)
We panned for gold one last time here..then grabbed a homemade ice cream and coffee, visited the blacksmith, a vintage wares store, and a candy store, and even bowled in a old-fashioned bowling alley.
To top the trip off three of us dipped candles. This kids (and I!) loved doing this.

You want to know what is awesome: the trip was fun, the kids had a blast and are so proud of their finds. We experienced and learned more about California's history. It was super affordable. You can pan for about $5 to $10 a person (depends on the location). The candle dipping was only $3.00 per candle, and many of the activities in Colombia are free. We did make donations to the various museums and performers.

So that there is our road trip...we found gold -
man it really puts the life of a miner into perspective...
what a way to try and make your fortune!
We had fun and we had an adventure!

I definitely see us becoming a family that thrives on adventure vacations. I easily foresee Austin Lehman Adventures becoming a staple for us and our travel plans. They offer a variety of tours and adventures continue to be one of the top rated tour operators in the world. Better yet (for us!), all Austin Lehman Adventure trips are all-inclusive (that means no arguing over dinner plans or what to do! - Huge plus for us!). On designated family adventures, Austin Lehman Adventures accommodates children as young as 7 - and even as young as age 5 on their Costa Rica Family Adventure - I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica.

As Jules gets a bit older and traveling with her becomes easier, I imagine (dream of) summers spent on bike tours and exploring the United States, as well as Family European Vacations.I will not be a travel chicken. I want my kids to explore and see the world!

Oh yeah...next summer I want to go here!
or here

What has been your favorite adventure this summer?
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Disclosure: My family was provided with a gift card to use on our adventure. We chose our own adventure. The opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy.