Friday, September 28, 2012

In Home Entertainment: The BEST Slime

We've been getting into the spooky spirit early this year and I've been after mom to let me decorate the house for Halloween (she blames Target who already has a Christmas aisle up!).  So mom decided to give another slime recipe a try (remember our last one?  not pretty).  There was really nothing complicated about making this, but it was fantastic.

We made one batch of green and one purple and had some super messy fun -- it turned out a little more like gak than slime.  To mom's surprise, it looks a lot more difficult to clean up than it was (although slimed clothes weren't the most fun, so you might want to go au natural for this one).  We twirled it on chopsticks, cut long strands of it, and slimed our hands.  We asked for it again the next day and made another batch that was a little more slimey.  So we broke out some drink straws and practiced blowing bubbles.  

To make this super easy slime, you'll need: 
- 1 tsp Borax (per batch)
- 4 ounces glue (per batch)
- 1 1/2 cups water 
- food coloring

Mix 1 tsp Borax into 1 cup water and set aside.  Mix 4 ounces glue with 1/2 cup water.  Add in food coloring.  Then stir in borax mixture.  It will immediately start to congeal, but keep stirring.  Then for the real fun -- squeeze out the excess liquid and knead slime with hands until you reach the desired consistency.  Slime away.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Laugh: Shopping and Dress-Up at World Market

I picked out purple bracelets and a "princess crown" right away

Then I danced 

A nice purple scarf

A little JLo

Mom told me I could get one purse.  So I put the leopard change purse inside of this one and said "one."  Then I tried to hide some beef jerky and Japanese candy in there, too.  I made it out of the store with the headband, one purse, the bracelets, and the princess crown.

Mommy asked me what I wanted to do today.  I said "ummm... go shopping again."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Keep It Local: River Farm

River Farm, the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, has been on our list of things to do for a while.  But sometimes we don't do that well in the "groomed garden" setting, so we hadn't yet made our visit.  We took advantage of being off of school last week to do so and it was AWESOME.  The children's garden was the most unique we've seen and included several different play settings: a real boat, a small log cabin, a fort built into the ground, a gazebo built over a river bed, and a jungle of plants.  We went there first and spent some time playing in each of the setups, but Kane's insistence on guarding the fort from any and all entry got old quickly.  So we set out to explore the rest of the "farm."

Then we learned that River Farm was actually owned by George Washington (it's not too far from Mount Vernon) and served as his northernmost farm and home to his personal secretary.  Rumor is that the black walnut trees still there were planted by Georgie himself and one of the orange trees was a gift from Thomas Jefferson.  Pretty cool.  We took our time exploring the meadow, which had nicely groomed grass paths, but was still pretty wild.  We chased butterflies and called back at the birdies.  Another little girl shared some giant snail shells she found down by the river and we ventured to find our own, but didn't have any luck.

We made our way back to the children's garden and played a bit longer this time.  Our grumbling tummies eventually called us back to the car and we headed over the nearby Woodrow Wilson bridge to National Harbor for lunch.  Technically no food is allowed on the beach, but we had The Awakening to ourselves (it was threatening rain), so we chanced it.  We were so hungry the food didn't last long.

Friday, September 21, 2012

In Home Entertainment: Glitter Paint Playdough

Back before we found our way to Discount School Supply (our favored art supply store), mom bought a bunch of supplies from Oriental Trading Company.  We love OTC and its prices, but the art supplies are not top-notch.  So we've had a big case of OTC glitter paint taking up space in our pantry for quite a while and mom decided it might make good coloring for playdough.  We made our usual batch of cooked dough, split it up and then mixed in a good amount of glitter paint.  The paint made the dough a little slimey, so mom had us add in a bit of flour as we mixed in the color.  We thought the colors turned out just like candy (more specifically, like the the candy making kit we saw on t.v. and have been begging mom to buy) and decided to run a little candy shop.

Cam focused on lollipops and cupcakes and I decided to make salt water taffy.  Mom gave me little squares of waxed paper and showed me how to roll up the candy.  Then I sold it to Cam.  We added in sequins the next time we brought it out to play and made some really fancy candy.  Mom also gave us some little candy paper cups to use, which we thought was super fun.  And you know Cami still tried to eat it.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Grub: Rosh Hashanah Challah

It probably won't come as a surprise, but we aren't really "fully compliant" with any religious holiday -- we prefer to celebrate "in the spirit" of many of them, including Rosh Hashanah.  And although we didn't go to services this year, we did make our very first batch of New Year's challah (which, unlike regular challah, is formed into a ring or a circle).  Mom found this self-proclaimed "shiksa" recipe and knew it would be right up our alley.  After the second round of rising, we split the dough into two equal parts and Cam and I each made our own.  I chose to make a linked loop version, while Cam went with the turban challah.  We eschewed raisins, but both had a little bit of a heavy hand with the salt.

Mom was not persuaded by my attempt to make round challah according to the story I claim to have heard at school -- wherein the baker's son tripped on "the stair bump" and dropped the challah, turning it into a round loaf.  It took 4 1/2 hours, but it was DELISH.

Mom also asked us for our Rosh Hashanah "resolutions."  Mine was to "listen better to my teachers."  Mom said I should tack on there listening better to her, but I was not persuaded.  Cam just said "Dora" and we're all hoping that does not mean we have to watch another year of the explorer.  Hope everyone had a Happy New Year!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Keep It Local: 1001 Inventions Family Festival at the National Geographic Museum

We needed a low-key out of the house activity last weekend and, because the National Geographic Museum is relatively small scale for a D.C. museum, mom thought the 1001 Inventions Family Festival would be a good fit.  It was, but there was nothing low-key about it.

There was free admission that day and there was no chance of getting in to see the actual 1001 Inventions exhibit -- there was a line wrapped around the museum for that.  Fortunately, it will be there until February 2013.  AND the museum had all kinds of free activities for kids to do instead -- we made mosaic tiles, built tall spires, painted incense burners and ate our fair share of hummus.  It was crowded, but the staff handled all the people well and took a lot of time with each of the individual children and their crafts.  We were super impressed and, although the family festival is over, we plan to attend one of the remaining FREE family workshops the museum is hosting on October 27, November 24, December 22, and January 19.  And hopefully we'll get in to the actual exhibit soon, too!