Creative Winter Break Videos

Hard to get your kids to stop playing video games all the time?

Encourage them to make videos ABOUT their video games. You might be surprised at the results! I know I was!


How to Be A Water Fight Professional


I’ve been meaning to post this all summer. We still have a few days before fall!

Two things: Our favorite middle-grade series: Fun4Hire. It’s hilarious (and meaningful) for the whole family (and the first book, Water Fight Professional is free for kindle, Nook, and iBooks! No affiliate link.) The second book is about the Snowball Fight Professional, so get reading before winter hits.

Second: How to make your own super soaker.


We found the DIY project in Popular Science back in 2013. The link takes you to the directions where they claim you can make tons of water blasters for $15, made out of PVC pipe.

I liked the sound of that, but I will say our out of pocket was over $20.  Tip: The 0-ring in the article is hard to find. I’d print out the article and take it with you to your hardware store and let them find the closest thing to make it work.

Still worth the extra, though, as these babies have lasted several years. We made five of them, all with different holes drilled in the end so they all squirt different.



We called them Wazookas. I filled a bucket of water with the hose and let them water my garden, seeing who could water it from the farthest distance.


Notice how all the pictures seem to be taken from far away?



Yeah. This mom had to stay close to the backdoor to make a quick getaway from my family of water fight professionals.

Enjoy the last days of summer!




Guest Post: My Dog

Sugar the dog enjoys being regularly featured for entertainment, but today she has something serious to share: How to Live With Musicians (and Still Love Them).

How to Make Your Own “Glass Slipper”


Cinderella has a special place in my heart.  Besides my love of the fairy tale, I had purchased some Disney nursery bedding for my upcoming first baby (17 years ago! sniff sniff), and Disney sent a bonus special edition DVD of Cinderella.

So, just in time before Cinderella hits theaters, I wanted to show you this craft that came about quite by accident.

True to the premise of The Secret Life of Book Club, I wanted to try something new… chocolate sculptures! But when we arrived at the class, we found the teacher had cancelled after discovering the supplies were too expensive. Instead, we were offered a class on Packaging Tape Sculptures.


After we got over the weird factor, we discovered it’s quite cool. The only supplies you need are: packaging tape, plastic wrap, scissors, and…. something to sculpt.

Since we were quite unprepared, I decided to sculpt my new shoes. (Pictured: My daughter’s shoe. With adult preparation, children ten and up should be able to do this craft.) And, in the end, I had myself a glass slipper…which FIT!

There’s just enough Cinderella in me that I fell in love with the novelty of the craft, and I had to recreate it with my daughter and friends. And sure, while you can’t walk around in this “glass slipper” it’s still fun to model (in stockings if you plan to use it for something else) and you can fill it with: marbles, ponytail holders or if doing a theme party… wrapped candy and treats!

So find yourself a shoe and prep:


Pull out a six-inch strip of plastic wrap and cut it into three or four sections. (You will repeat as necessary during the craft)


Cut the packaging tape into one-inch strips. Attach them to the bottom edge of the table and counter taking care that they hang down instead of cling to the underside of your table. Pre-cut as much as possible…and then cut some more. Once a table or counter is decked out in the stuff, keep the tape handy in case you need more.


Begin wrapping the clingy stuff around the shoe… ONLY the OUTSIDE of it.  The goal is for one single coat of plastic wrap to go all around the shoe (again not inside of it). Make sure every inch is covered. Overlapping a little is fine, but don’t make double layers. Essentially the purpose of this step is to make sure the packaging tape doesn’t touch the shoe.


See the bow? If you have any little extras to the shoe, place the wrap OVER it. You’ll see why soon.


Now it’s time to grab the strips of packaging tape. Tape over every centimeter of wrap until the outside is covered with tape. (even the bottom of the shoe)

Once every bit of plastic wrap is covered with tape (and hopefully getting quite stiff but still flexible) carefully slide the plastic shell off the shoe. Start with the heel. Work slowly and carefully until the shell of the shoe is removed. You have a glass slipper, but you’re not done.

Tape the INSIDE of your plastic wrap shoe, until the shoe is stiff and covered both inside and out in packaging tape. Besides, if you want to fill it with stuff, you want to cover up anything that had touched the original shoe. Tape it and tape some more just to be sure!  (The kids in attendance never tired of adding tape as long as I kept it flowing.)


Place the “glass slipper” on a pillow like the Duke and try it on! OR….

IMG_3509Find another use! Or both. (I personally still like the candy idea… ) Can’t wait for the new Cinderella!