The Heat is On - Indoor Fun

It has been brutally hot here in NJ for several weeks now with no reprieve in sight.  My boys don’t even want to go outside into the kiddie pool or the slip ‘n slide.  The Destroyer takes one step outside and whines, “Mama, too hot out here!”  So - we’ve been spending A LOT of time indoors.  Thankfully, we live right next to a park, so as soon as it hits 7:00 pm and the sun begins to set, we go outside for our fresh air of the day.  Here are some of the activities we’ve been doing indoors to keep busy:

  1. Crafts - I love some of the inexpensive sets they sell at Oriental Trading.  Generally, when we make crafts we like to give one to Oma, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Aunt Kristen, Aunt Lisa - so it is good for us that the sets usually come in 6 or 12′s.  Just this week, we made these Sun Magnets.
  2. Board Games - My boys like board games and we’re making our way through our stack, though, much to my dismay, Cootie seems to have become the favorite.  Cute game - takes WAY too long!
  3. Play the Wii - The Wii provides both fun and exercise.  And if you have a few kids, they can all play together.
  4. Take your spare change to the bank - Our local TD bank has one of those change counting machines and the boys love to use it.  If they don’t have a ton of change, I let them keep their money to buy something on our next shopping trip.  But, if it is over $10, it goes into their bank account.  They also like that they can guess how much money they have and possibly win a prize from the bank.  The last time, we won a mini ball puzzle for coming within $2 of our actual amount.  Our bank is also only a few blocks away, so we often walk over, even on a hot day.
  5. Make a Slurpee or Slushie run.  I like to call this $5 FUN.  A simple run to 7-11 for Slurpees makes my boys very happy - especially when they have the flavors they want!
  6. Storytime - Our local library has been having many free events for the kids, so we’ve been cycling through our books pretty fast this summer.  In order to get the books back in a few days for the next event, we’ve been having afternoon and bedtime storytime.
  7. Mooch off of a friend who has a pool - I’m ashamed to admit this, but yes I do it.  My good friend, who is a teacher, and I don’t get together often during the school year since we are so busy.  So when summer comes around, she knows I’m looking for swim dates and since we have time to get together, this works out perfectly.  I bring lunch and/or snacks and a fun day is had by all!
  8. Storytime at the Book Stores/Craft time at the Craft Stores - Our local Barnes & Noble and Borders stores have storytimes.  Afterwards, I treat the kids to a cookie in the cafe and we browse the kids’ section and add to our Christmas lists.  Our local AC Moore runs a weekly free craft on Wednesday and we love to hit these.
  9. Super Cheap Movies/Free Bowling - Take advantage of all of the summer freebies/discounts.  Various Movie Theatres offer $1 or very low cost kids movies in the mornings.  AMF has a free bowling program for kids during the summer (shoe rental required).
  10. Hit the Mall - our local mall has a free, indoor play area, as well as a low-cost carousel and train ride - all in the comfort of air conditioning.
  11. The Toaster Oven- Do not underestimate your toaster oven (who wants to heat up the house by turning on the oven?! Not me!).  It can be used to make your own pizzas, make store-bought cookie dough (in mommy friendly portions!), make homemade cookies in small batches.
  12. Smoothies - Fruit + Ice + Your Blender = Fun, Tasty, Healthy Treats for the Whole Family.
  13. Ice Cream Machine - Make Your Own Ice Cream.  Try one of our favorite, simple ice cream recipes.
  14. Check out your local pet shop - you can see lots of interesting little creatures!
  15. Burger King or McDonalds’ Play Place - you don’t have to buy lunch, you can do ice cream cones!  And technically, you don’t have to buy anything!

All in all, we are trying to keep summer fun (and not too hot!) for the kids, while still operating on a tight budget.

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WW Update - Week 58

Pounds lost in Week 58: 1.2 pounds

Total weight lost so far : 29.4 pounds

30 you are SO close!  To conserve money, I started packing my lunch and breakfast for work this week instead of buying in the cafeteria and not only did it pay off in my bank account, but at weigh-in, too.  Without having to go to the cafeteria, there are no temptations, no impulse buys and I can much more effectively control what I am eating.  This week’s breakfasts have been whole wheat bagels with light cream cheese.  Lunches have consisted of salads with turkey breast, fruit, WW chips, & organic fruit leather.  And speaking of WW chips, have you tried the new Ranch Multigrain chips?  We got free samples last week and they are awesome.  So much so, that our location didn’t have any boxes left this week.  Hopefully they’ll be back in stock soon because they taste just like a potato chip but without all the fat and guilt!  30 - next week, you are mine!!!

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Star Wars Cookies

For Father’s Day, the boys and I had full intentions of making my husband Star Wars cookies with these cookie presses that we purchased at Williams-Sonoma.  However, we never got around to it (primarily due to the massive heat and my aversion to turning on the oven in said heat) and decided to make them post Father’s Day a few weeks ago. At the advice of the cashier at Williams-Sonoma, we opted to dye our dough, rather than flood the cookies with icing.

Cutting Out Yoda Cookies

I used my ice pack inside cookie board and my metal rolling pin (that my husband gave me for Xmas a few years ago after giving me crap for not making him gingerbread cookies at Christmas time) to ensure that the dough (Mamamamahoney baking secret - I used store bought sugar cookie dough!) stayed cool enough.  To dye the Yoda dough, we used Icing Dye from Wilton (found at AC Moore) in the color Juniper.  I think this color would also work well for the Boba Fett cookie cutter included in this set.

Cutting Out Darth Vader Cookies

We used the same Wilton icing dye in Black for the Darth Vader cookies.  The dough really looked like a deep, dark violet rather than black, but none of my cookie testers (ie the kids and my husband) seemed to care.

Cookie Testers

As you can see, the dough holds the print of the cookies press quite nicely after baking.  If you are really lazy, you don’t even have to ice them.

Yoda Cookies without Icing


Darth Vader Cookies without Icing

 I opted to do minimal icing on the cookies mainly because I’m not too into frosting and icing.  I used the Better Crocker White Cookie Icing that comes in the squeeze tube with the tip already attached and a black cookie/candy icing pen that I purchased at Williams-Sonoma.

Iced Yoda Cookie


Iced Darth Vader Cookies

Even the professionials decided to do minimal icing on these!

These would make AWESOME birthday party favors, cupcake toppers, birthday treats, Father’s Day gifts, geek birthday gifts, rainy day treats!  The options are endless!!!

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WW Update - Week 57

Pounds lost in Week 57: -.4  pounds

Total weight lost so far : 28.2 pounds

30 was not to be - at least not this week.  I did eat a lot of crap and didn’t do much in the way of tracking.  Unfortunately, the stress of my husband’s job loss is causing me to be an emotional eater.  I’m trying to make healthy choices though, eating fruit or raisins over chips (and that is no longer a problem now that I’ve plowed the bag of Doritos that was in my house).  This is my last month of WW due to the job loss, so I really need to bunker down and get back to tracking.  I want to hit 30 by the end of the month and then try and make this work without going to weigh in.  My parents have a WW scale, so that is what I’ll be using to weigh in after August.  Here’s to hoping I can maintain this weight loss since I’ve already rid myself of my larger clothes.

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You know your kid is tired when……..

he puts himself to bed.  2 nights ago, CheezWaster fell asleep on the living room floor.  We took him upstairs and when we came back downstairs, The Destroyer asked where CheezWaster went.  We told him that we put CheezWaster to bed.  I then changed The Destroyer into his pajamas and left him laying on the sofa.  I went into another room to get something and when I cam back he was gone.  I asked my husband if he put him to bed and he said no.  I then went upstairs only to find the Destroyer tucked safely into his bed snuggling his blanket and Gloworm - all of his own freewill!

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