Summer Reading for Preschoolers – Duck in the Truck

Duck in the Truck was my son’s favorite book for quite a while. I don’t remember it all now, but I had the whole thing memorized at one time. I even recited it for him on a drive back from a vacation to Texas (I had foolishly forgotten the book at home).

The rhyming flow of the book also makes it super fun to read out loud. If you haven’t read it with your kiddos yet, I highly recommend checking it out from the library. Happy summer reading!

How to Dehydrate Strawberries – Chocolate Strawberry Trail Mix Recipe

About six months ago my daughter up and decided she was going to hate strawberries. What?!? I thought it was a phase. Two or three days later and she’d be back to normal. Uh…no. The girl won’t touch them, but I did make a lovely discovery last week. She likes ’em dried.

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My father and stepmother got me this super fabulous dehydrator last Christmas, and I feel like I haven’t really used it enough to make it feel like part of the family. Poor thing. Luckily, I ordered eight pounds of strawberries with my regular Bountiful Basket contribution, and I decided to dry a bunch of them. I’ve dehydrated strawberries before, but I made a life changing discovery this time around. Use an egg slicer to cut soft fruits in perfectly even slices. Seriously, wow.

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It’s super easy after you get them cut. Lay your strawberry slices evenly on your drying racks, set your dehydrator somewhere between 135 – 145 degrees, and dry for 4 to 8-ish hours. That’s right – I said ‘ish. You’ll just have to keep an eye on them when they get close to dry. You want them leathery, but not sticky.

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Now you might be wondering what you do with a dehydrated strawberry. You eat them. Or, if you’re my daughter, you and eat and eat and eat them! But I’ll tell you right now, they are lovely in this decadent trail mix:

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Chocolate Strawberry Pecan Trail Mix:

  • 2 Cups Dehydrated Strawberries
  • 1 Cup Toasted Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Mix it up! You can add more strawberries, or you could add more chocolate. You could even add more pecans – it’s really up to you! Enjoy!

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Awesome Summer – Playing in the Creek

My mother was, shall we say…a wee bit stuffy about things when I was growing up. Why was she like this? Because she loved me, and because I was horrendously accident prone – I broke two of the tails off the vertebrates in my neck on two separate occasions before I turned eighteen. So basically she packed me in cotton and antibacterial soap and I grew up mostly just fine.

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So you can probably understand my shock when she said it was fine for my two munchkins to play/swim in the creek outside her house fully dressed and without the proper creek-splashing footwear. And you know what? She was right, it was fine. More than fine – it was a blast. The two of us even ended up sitting in lawn chairs in the creek with our pants rolled up to ours knees while we soaked our feet and watched the kids play. Crazy day. Crazy awesome day! So, what are you waiting for – go find yourself a creek to play in!

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Summer Reading – If You Give a Moose a Muffin

You’ve probably heard of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. You might have even heard of If You Give a Pig a Pancake, but today we’re giving all our attention to Moose. Dear Moose, you are my very favorite.

If You Give a Moose a Muffin at Amazon.com

If you haven’t read this book with your kiddos, go get it right now. Now! I’m sure your family will love Moose as much as we do! Happy Reading!

 

My New Camera!

It’s here! It’s finally here! Okay…I actually got it about twenty days before I expected it. Yay for awesome hubbies who buy birthday gifts early!

I’m still adjusting to the world of DSLRs, but I gotta tell ya – I don’t think I will ever go back.

Here’s a few of my very first photos. They’re pretty amateurish, but I’m still quite happy with them!

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Camera Shopping

My camera has officially died. It’s been on its last leg for about a year, so I knew this day was coming, but it was still quite sad. I’m now without a camera. I’ve tried to use my Kindle Fire a few times, but the forward-facing camera is a pain. The picture quality isn’t the best either. Luckily, my lovely, super-wonderful, absolutely awesome hubby said I can have a new one for my birthday. The best part? He’s going to finally let me get a digital SLR. Yay!!!!! I’ve wanted one for about five years now, but they were always a little – a lot – out of our price range. Mr. Wonderful also said I wasn’t responsible enough. That’s right, he said I would lose the lenses. Phhttt – Okay, he’s probably right. Back to the point, I can have one now!

Nikon D3000 DSLR Bundle at Sam’s Club

So we’ve been camera shopping, and frankly, it’s been depressing. I knew they were expensive, but…wow. So finally we checked Sam’s Club, and I found this cute little critter. Bingo! It comes with the camera, two lenses, a bag, two dvds, and a memory card – all for under five hundred! I looked it up on the Nikon website, and it seems to get good reviews, and the two lenses each have an estimated retail price of 199.99. And the best part? It’s for newbies to the digital SLR world. That’s me! Now I just have to wait twenty nine days until my birthday. Hmmm. Oh well, waiting’s good and all that.

Anyone familiar with this camera? Or have any camera shopping expertise? Send it my way!