Then and Now

The baton has been passed down. 
Last year I used to announce what ‘day’ it was to the kids in the morning and we’d plot how to celebrate.  Now Sam, after receiving an almanac  for Christmas, checks each evening to see what bizarre holiday we’ll be observing. 

Yesterday, he didn’t tell me the holiday, he just made it obvious as he kept holding his hand out for a handshake at each store we visited on our errands.  That, and he emailed everyone including me ‘Happy Handshake Day!’

So, last night he let me know we’d be celebrating Camera Day!  The kids and I already take a lot of pictures, but we were reminded of a certain camera that sits and gathers dust. While it doesn’t take the best daytime photos, it is waterproof!  So today, on Camera Day (and Flashback Friday), we recreated some underwater photos from 2007!

Do you try to recreate photos and compare?

Try it.  A five year difference minimum.

Then you can join me in freaking out at how much everyone has grown. Happy Camera Day!

Having A Blast

UPDATE: This contest is now over. Betty C. won – check your email, Betty!

Anabelle ran into the house, arms out, eyes wide, backpack still hanging from her shoulders. “Mom! July is National Ice Cream Month! Keep watch and stock up, Mom!” She gave me a hug. “I knew you’d want to know.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Yes, we take having a blast as a family seriously (though we’re not having ice cream every single day in July).

We make a concentrated effort to have frugal family fun, and often the inspiration for that fun is based on a theme or bizarre holiday. During the summer months, we try to visit a different park or outdoor location each weekend.

We’ve discovered a love for hobby rockets, kiting, soccer, geocaching, hiking, and . . . taking dramatic pictures of it all.

Because once we get home we put them all together for a silly slideshow.

Which is the perfect time to have a refreshing snack.

Cue Anabelle: “I’m craving something cold and creamy.”
“So, like yogurt?” I say.
“No, I’m thinking something cold, and creamy, and sweet.”
“Oh, like a fruit smoothie,” I suggest.
She frowns. “I’m craving something with a little more chocolate in it. That maybe goes in a cone.”
My daughter is subtle, isn’t she?
Other times we get our cue for a snack by having movie theme nights. In this case, a scene in a movie we’re watching involves ice cream. Sam pauses the movie. “Can we please?” he says.

This was the moment I’d been waiting for. Since we were having a blast already, I got to sweeten the deal! I smiled. “Breyers has asked us to try a couple of their new flavors

Breyers Blasts!® OREO® Birthday Blast! and Breyers Blasts!® Chocolate REESE’S®.

And the response?

We were all a tad excited.
“You know how adults have wine tastings?” my daughter asked. “Well, they should have dessert tastings!”
So that’s exactly how we treated it. First, they smelled the OREO Birthday Blast! “It smells like vanilla with sprinkle goodness!”
Taste: “It tastes like grandma’s cake batter but it has Oreos to make it absolutely perfect.” Texture: “Yummmm.” We moved onto the Chocolate REESE’S. At this point, all I got out of the family was “Awesome!”

And you know what else is awesome? We’re hosting a sweepstakes to give one of you a $100 Visa gift card! Just tell us how you and your family would have a blast with Breyers Blasts!

Rules: No purchase necessary.

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion with hashtag #sweeps and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate free form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 6/28 to 7/26.

Be sure to visit the Breyers Blasts! brand page on, where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!


Seen Brave yet?  We’d love to but haven’t yet.  So to hold us over, we were inspired to pull out the bows and arrows!

If you’ve never tried archery before, we highly recommend it.  It’s fun! And there are some affordable beginner sets at Amazon and Walmart.

Plus, it’s fun to have a photo shoot, and let them play with photo effects. This archer is too cool in my book.

It’s always a contest, for the observers, to see who can snap a picture of the arrow in mid-air. Do you see it?

There’s no need to buy a fancy target.  Use a cardboard box and fill it full with more cardboard, for stability (and to make sure it doesn’t go all the way through!)  The kids will have a blast painting the bullseye for you!

The Self-Cleaning Room

My kids would always choose to do something creative over cleaning. To be honest, I would too. But we all know it must be done. If you want to put a fun, creative spin on cleaning. Place a tri-pod in your child’s room.

If they take a picture every single time they put away one item, they (and you) might be surprised at the silly result. My daughter did just that and decided to add a little video at the end.
Hope you are inspired! We were!

If you can’t see this video, try here.