Our Dog Daizy is 1 Year Old

Last year we watched an English Cream Golden Retriever while her owner relocated from Florida to Madrid, Spain. We were so amazed with the temperament of this particular breed, that a week after shipping our friend’s dog off to spain we were out shopping for gold retriever puppies. After one year and multiple pairs of shoes and plenty of chewed socks, our Dog Daizy is one year old.

Here is a cool photo of her:

Here is another of her with our son Owen.

Here she is in Vermont visiting relatives and their seeing eye dog.

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Awesome Lizard Valentine’s Day Card Box!

My second grade son has to make a Valentine’s Day card box for school to collect his cards and treats. My son is obsessed with lizards, so it wasn’t a surprise when he said he was going to make a Lizard Valentine’s Day box. But it is a surprise at how good it turned out. He used a shoebox for a body and a small Puff’s Tissue box for the head. He cut a hole in the bottom of the Puff’s box and the top of the shoe box and aligned them, so the person who drops off a card has to reach in the “mouth” to drop off the card. He put white paper triangles on the mouth for teeth to make it look extra scary. Below is a close up of the mouth, the red arrow is pointing to the hole that leads to the “belly” of the Beast. My son said it needs spikes, the bottom pictures show the final Lizard with spikes! He brought it to school on Thursday and all the other kids just loved it. Everyone had to stick their hand into the mouth! The class is having a contest and the people who made the 4 best boxes will get McDonalds for Lunch with the teacher. We think he has a good chance of winning, but even if he doesn’t win, he has a really cool box to store stuff in.

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Picture of the Week: Gingerbread Men

I have been away from the picture of the week, because the Holiday season also brings sickness and colds. Every member of my family has been sick at least once, some multiple times in the past few weeks. But, Holiday season also brings Holiday parties! I was able to help out this week at the 2nd grade party and help decorate Ginger Bread Men! It was so much fun watching each child glow with excitement about what they could create with C-A-N-D-Y!!! This week’s featured image is from a UF fan! I also had to include the one with snowball (marshmallow) hair. It looks like the GB0man is wearing curlers! Sorry about the blurry look; it was in a baggie for protection!
Have a great Holiday Season and encourage everyone to be creative!

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LEGO Advent Calendar

I have been wanting to get my son an advent calendar for a few years, he had one when he was 3 and it really helped him with counting and counting down the days until Christmas. Last year the Lego Advent Calendar sold out of stores sooo fast; it was there one week, and then when I went back around thanksgiving without my son… it was gone! ;(
And it was too expensive on Amazon. So this year I bought it in early November. I have to say it has been awesome. There is a new minibuild every single day! My 7 year old is crazy about Legos. He can barely wait until the next day to get the open the door and see what the mystery build is. He has found that he can peek into the unopened compartments by using a flashlight pointed in an open door. He will try to build the next day lego with his existing Lego’s and cant wait until day to see if he did it “right”, or close to the Lego guys. The second picture below shows some of the mini-builds he has made from the calendar.
This year I have seen a lot of these still in stores, and about half off; They are originally $34.99- $49.99; I’ve seen them for $29.99. I bet you can get them even cheaper after Christmas, because they are Holiday and dated for this year. If you know a Lego lover and can get a good deal on it I suggest buying it for next year; it does say 2011 on it, but the doors are random, so it really doesn’t matter. Even at full price I think this was a great toy! My son plays with every build every day for at least 25 days, and he seems to know what day it is every day; and how many more days until Christmas! And it comes with a Santa Yoda! Santa Yoda, need I say more!
A great companion to this toy is the Milenium Falcon Mini Lego case. I think Santa is going to bring that, so he has a place to put all his mini’s; there are little holders for the minifigs on the sides. Very cute!

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Picture of the Week: ‘Squatting’ Frog

My husband was spraying for bugs in our enclosed patio when he saw what looked like loose paint on the the electrical box in the corner (see circle in picture). He tried to knock the paint off with the spray nozzle, only to have it jump away! The ‘Paint chip’ was actually a tree frog who made his home in a plant on our patio. We have named this little guy CHIP. He has been living here for at least a month. He normally is inside the plant pot, but occasionally he will hop out and hang out on the electrical box, which is like his patio.
I chose him as this weeks picture because I love his color pattern (see close up in the round photo) and how he blends in with the paint and the stucco pattern. I am pretty sure he changes his color when he is inside the plant pot to a uniform green-grey color. I didn’t know frogs changed color. I love all the wildlife we see here in Florida!!

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Picture of the Week: Cloud design

When I first moved to Florida I was so amazed by the sunny skies and the big fluffy clouds, that you see every day. They made me feel so happy I began taking pictures of some clouds. This one is the sun shining through a group of clouds. I loved how you could see dark cloud shadows and then parts of the clouds lit up as the sun rays shine through them. This cloud pic inspired me to make an icon for my website.

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Picture of the Week: Snakebird on Goose

I often find myself looking through my pictures and see I have a lot of interesting ones I want to share. Since I moved to Florida, I have spent lots of time and have taken numerous pictures of neat critters, and sometimes neat clouds, that catch my fancy. So, to share these, I have started a picture of the week post.
This weeks’ photo is of a snakebird, also known as an Anhinga, who is on the back of a goose decoy drying his wings. I was riding my bike with my son to school one morning and saw this strange sight. The decoys are supposed to attract other birds, but I never saw a bird on the decoy before. This guy seems to say “I am King of the world”… or at least “I am King of this pond!”
The snakebird dives under water to catch fish, and gets it name from its long snake-like neck that will stick out of the water when the rest of it’s body is submerged. Since they do not have oil glands they are often seen with their wings spread out to dry them.

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Magnetic Wall

I recently bought a stainless steel fridge, but now my magnets won’t stick to it. I need some place to hang all my magnets & my son’s art work. I was thinking of hanging up a metal panel on my wall, when I happened to “stumble/google” across Magnetic Paint!! This was so cool I had to try it!!!
I went to Home Depot and bought Rustoleum Magnetic Primer. It is a little pricey; it runs ~$20 for a quart, which should cover 3 coats on a 4×4 ft area. I was able to cover my 5×9 ft wall with 2 cans of magnetic primer. I had read online that some people had to put 6 or even 9 coats on their wall. Three coats worked fine for me. In fact magnets stuck fine after one coat. We even found our fingers became magnetic during the process! You will need strong magnets to hold stuff up after the final coat. Those magnetic letters work, but they will not hold any paper to the wall, but they are so weak they don’t even hold paper to a fridge. Unless you use at least 10 of them.

Just some hints I found useful.
1. Tape off the area you want to paint. I did a whole wall, But you could also do a neat shape or stripes. You really don’t need the entire wall magnetic.
2. Ask the paint department to shake the paint. And stir it well before you use it and while you are painting. There are small metal filings that will form a sediment. The paint guy told me the directions said to stir it, so I said fine, I’ll stir it. I took the cans home and shook each can by hand for about 5 minutes, then stirred it for another 5-10 minutes until no more sledge was at the bottom.
3. Don’t be shocked: It goes on BLACK! It is metal based and will go on Black. I was worried the top coat would need multiple coats and dampen the magnetic attraction. It is a primer so it is really easy to cover up with a light colored top coat. You should wait about 30 minutes to reapply additional coats. 3 coats worked great for me.
4. Paint it. If you want a different color than black you should paint it. There is an option to paint it with a blackboard paint or Dry erase board paint. The blackboard paint comes in a variety of colors, I almost did a light blue, but chickened out and did normal paint. The Home Depot guy told me that the blackboard & Dry erase paint go on fine, but if you have a textured wall you will have a “dust” accumulate in the hills & valleys of the wall, and will have to wash it not just wipe it down.
5. Ventilate. It is stinky so do it on a day you can open your windows. The can says to wait 4 hours to fully dry before repainting. I waited overnight, and found the fumes lingered through the night. The smell was much better away after I put the top coat on.
Oh FYI, I just read on Rustoleum Magnetic Primer box that it is “Now 3 times Stronger”… That would explain why I could use 3 coats and others used 6-9 coats!
Here are some pictures of my Magnetic wall project.

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Parenting Advice from a McDonald’s DriveThrough!

In this case it’s what not to do! Apparently the child was still hanging out of the window as they drove down the road. A friend of mine posted this on FB, and I just had to post it here. I don’t even let the dogs stick their head out of the car window.
Next time you get in the car, please make sure everyone is seated and has their seatbelt on!!

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Air Tight Bag Sealer: Use for Plastic Bottle Tops

A friend sent me this via email and it’s a really neat idea. Gotta give it a 10 for originality and I love the idea of reusing those bottles.

The guy who first thought of the idea should be given an award for originality!!!
Seal Plastic Bags with Old Bottle Caps
Cut up a disposable water bottle and keep the neck and top, as in photo.

Insert the plastic bag through the neck and screw the top to seal.

The bag is made to be air-tight, such that water will not leak, the secret lies with the top and screw cap!
This is a great idea to share.
Good for us and the environment too.
Zip-top bags are great, but sometimes you buy something in bulk and you’re stuck with an unsealable bag. Home-centric blog Re-Nest shows us an easy way to give these bags an airtight seal with an old water bottle.
All you need to do is cut off the top of the bottle and take off the cap. Push the bag through the bottle neck, fold it over the edges, and twist the cap back on. Now, your bag has an air and water tight seal, and you didn’t have to waste the bag.

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