Our Tricky Lemonade Stand

Monday, July 19, 2021

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We have all seen a lemonade stand. Adorable, sweet, tart, cheap. All around a good time. But you know what is better than a boring old cute lemonade stand?

A tricky lemonade stand!

We used some simple methods to add magic to the mundane. And maybe a little bit of gross to the mundane as well. What can I say? It's tricky!

Prep for this was easy, but it is something you have to plan ahead for. For our "tricky" ice cubes we filled our ice trays with gummi worms before we added the water. I have heard that boiling water will freeze clearer (our cubes were almost too smoky to see the worms) but I'm not sure what that would do to the candy.

Ronan was able to help with every part of this lemonade stand (being that it was his and all) and that included everything we prepped. He helped me put the worms in for the ice cubes, get them in and out of the freezer, and even used the tongs to put them into the customers glasses. Actually, I think using the tongs might have been his favorite part!

Let's talk about the real star of this stand: color changing lemonade. This recipe is an old library secret that we have used for years to add a little magic to our programs. The trick? Put a little food coloring at the bottom of the cup. So simple, but so genius. As soon as any liquid hits the bottom it will change color. We added our food coloring the night before. The cups I chose had a little space at the bottom when they stacked, so we could add the food coloring and then store them stacked up without making a mess. 

The reactions to the color changing lemonade were priceless. Ro and I had a bit of an act going on where I would ask him what color the lemonade was, and when he responded with "Yellow!" I would say "Are you sure?" and then pour the glass. Even the adults were dumbfounded for a second!

I am including a link to a .pdf of some signs that say "the Tricky Lemonade Stand." Feel free to print them out and color them for your own signs, and please use our ideas to make your own stand a little bit tricky! This idea might be my favorite thing we've done all summer. It's a perfect way to add some magic to a hot day!

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What YA Readin? Episode 5: Teens in... Spaaace!

Friday, July 16, 2021

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 We are fans of space. Like, as a family. Space fans. So obviously Bre and I were going to do a deep dive into young adult science fiction. In this episode, we discuss The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James and Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Bre also shares The Disasters by M.K. England and Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre, while Jes speaks of her love for Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer.

Listen to this podcast on Anchor.fm/what-ya-readin!

If you like this theme and would like to read more books about teens in space check out our list on Goodreads.com: Teens... In Spaaace!

A list of links to things we talk about:

StargateStar WarsDoctor WhoStar Trek

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Supernatural, Grimm, NCIS, True Blood

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Disasters by M. K. EnglandHonor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer
The Silence of Bones by June Hur
The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Wanderlust Puzzle

Monday, July 12, 2021

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I have a new puzzle template to share with you guys! This puzzle's design was inspired by sunrises above the clouds and 1970's vibes. We haven't been on a vacation since Ronan was born and I am feeling it. Right now it's not really feasible for us to take a big trip involving airplanes and hotels and passports, so I'm satisfying my wanderlust in little ways.

As always the puzzle itself is made out of recycled cardboard and paint. The curves were a little annoying to cut out with an Exacto, but I love the finished result. If you want to make a puzzle for yourself feel free to print out the template below!

If you like this puzzle I also have templates for a leaf puzzle and a camping puzzle available! I go a little more in-depth about the creation of the puzzles on the other two posts, so if you want to create your own out of cardboard you should definitely go check them out!
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Magnet Dominos DIY

Monday, July 5, 2021

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We are finally to the point where Ro has the attention span and skills required to play simple tabletop games. It's pretty much the best thing ever. One of the very first games we got him into was dominos. But normal dominos was still a little complicated for our attention span.

So I figured I had two problems to fix: make it simple and make it something we could walk away from and come back to later. For the first problem, the solution was pretty easy: colors. I had seen many bloggers use paint to make some beautiful dominos (like here and here.) The second problem was fixed as soon as we got our new/old set of lockers... magnets! (Why didn't I think of them before? Because our fridge isn't magnetic. Who does that!? Where am I supposed to put Ro's beautiful creations?) The process after the idea was pretty straightforward.

I like to be thrifty whenever possible, so this DIY is made of recycled materials. Cute AND it helps save the planet? That's my jam.

thin cardboard boxes (cereal, mac and cheese, etc)
magnets (on Amazon)

Step One: Cut up your cardboard.
Cut your cardboard into rectangles that are the same size (mine are about 1 1/2 in by 3 in). If you are using thin cardboard you should be able to use normal scissors. If you use the same amount of colors as me you will need 21 rectangles to make a full set.

Step Two: Paint your dominos.
I used 5 paint colors (pink, yellow, blue, white, green) and then let one color be the color of the cardboard, so in total I had six colors. Every color should have 1 whole color piece and 5 half color pieces. So, for example, blue will have blue/blue, blue/pink, blue/yellow, blue/white, blue/green, and blue/blank. When you are done painting set them aside to dry.

Step Three: Add magnets.
Magnets usually come with a sticky side. Cut your magnets to be smaller than the domino and attach it to the back side. Then, as long as the paint is dry, they are ready to be played with!

These dominos are so fun and colorful that I put them all in a mesh drawstring bag and used a magnet hook on the side of the lockers so they would be available whenever we wanted to play. We've gotten them out a few times to play a few rounds, but we have also used them to create shapes, or just to make a giant color matching train!

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Lemon Book Basket

Monday, June 28, 2021

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I love lemons. A real, true love. The kind of love where you buy a lemon tree, kill it, then buy another one and keep it alive for three years and harvest multiple lemons off of it. I swear the lemons from my tree are better than others, but it could just be wishful thinking... 
Anyways, I knew that I would need to do a lemon book basket at some point. There's too many sweet books out there that feature the subject to not do it. I always try to include books that are well written, engaging, and have beautiful illustrations, and every book in this basket checked all of the boxes! I also included a simple little activity to practice some measuring that's perfect for a toddler or preschooler. It's an ideal book basket for the warm summer months!

For our activity I bought some cheap yellow sponges from the dollar aisle and cut them to look like lemons. Whenever we sat down to "make lemonade" I saturated the sponges and put them into a container. I also set out a glass, some sugar, and some measuring spoons. First he would squeeze the "lemons" to get all of the juice out, then we would add a measurement of sugar and stir it up. 

Books we read:

He had a ton of fun making his own "lemonade." In the end I think there was more sugar than water in the cup, and his hands were a sticky mess, but we had a great time and had a sneaky math lesson, too!

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What YA Readin? Episode 4: the Aesthetic Generator

Saturday, June 19, 2021

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Birthday Wish List

Sunday, June 13, 2021

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I have to admit, I enjoy making these lists. It's not that I get everything I link (although I think it is helpful to have a visual aid when sending a list to my parents.) I just really love combing through all of my saved posts and pins and boiling everything down to what my favorite finds of my current season of life are.

1. Lava Lamp Tee from Camp Collection

2. Rover Pack Classic (Sage) from Topo Designs

3. Porter Mug (Terrazzo Cream) from W and P Design

4. PARKS Board Game from Parks Project

5. Firewood Rack found on Amazon

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