Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Home Depot Kids’ Workshops

August 3, 2010

Home Improver Club is a service offered through The Home Depot providing do-it-yourself workshops for both adults and kids. Each month there is a DIY project just for school-aged kids. August’s project (perfectly timed to coordinate with back to school) is the School Bus Pencil Organizer. The sessions are hands-on and the August workshop will be hosted on Saturday, August 7 from 9AM to 12PM. Best of all, the workshops are *FREE*.

The workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety, while at the same time helping to instill a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, this fun time allows for quality one-on-one time between adults and children.

In addition to the newly constructed project kit, each child receives a kid-sized orange apron, similar to The Home Depot associates’ aprons, and an achievement pin.

The Home Depot is located at 8000 Folsom Boulevard and for more information click HERE or call 916.381.3181.

We’ll see you there!

Farm fresh and family friendly :: summer squash

June 21, 2010

Summer squash. It’s that time of year. They’re popping up in many stalls at the farmers market. They’re maturing in many people’s backyard gardens.

I don’t really like squash. Nonetheless, I plant it every year. This year, we went a bit overboard. We have 4 very healthy zucchini plants and 3 or 4 other squash plants blooming away. Not only is it squash season, but squash recipe season. If I can successfully mask the flavor of the squash I’m good to go and ready to eat as much as my garden can provide (that may be an exaggeration this year).

If you’re like me and need help consuming squash, or if  your kids need a little help, or if you love squash, I have a couple of tried and true squash recipes to share today. My family loves both of these recipes and I hope yours does to!

The first recipe is a summer squash gratin recipe from 101 Cookbooks. It takes a little bit of time, but it’s easy and so good. Any type of squash will do. We made this last week, enjoying it with hot dogs and sausages (from Bledsoe Pork). Get the cheese the recipe recommends–either gruyere or feta. So tasty!

The second recipe can be found in Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. The recipe can also be found online, here. We’ve made this recipe a number of times over the last couple of summers and will be making it for the first time this weekend. The ingredients are simple: zucchini, orzo pasta, onion, fresh herbs, and parmesan cheese (we substitute romano). It’s a great as a side or as a main dish mixed with some chicken. It’s also a great dish to make when you’ve run out of time to make dinner. It’s super quick!

Enjoy!

Farm fresh and family friendly :: the backyard garden

June 7, 2010

With summer temperatures just arriving in the Sacramento region, there’s still plenty of time to plant a summer garden.

If the thought of planting an entire garden is overwhelming, but you really like the idea of some fresh vegetables in your own backyard, considering planting a tomato plant or 2 in a pot, or building a small raised bed. Create a garden that’s realistic for your life.

Resources abound for the backyard gardener. Here are a few to get you started:

There are many nurseries around as well, with very knowledgeable staff. In East Sacramento try Talini’s  at 5601 Folsom Blvd. In South Sacramento, there is Capitol Nursery at 4700 Freeport Blvd.

Go dig in the dirt!

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

July 24, 2009

I know you can pick up sidewalk chalk at the Dollar Store for, well, a dollar, but if you make it at home not only is it a fun project to do with your school-aged child, but it makes the driveway-masterpieces all that much more special.

Making your own chalk is so easy! It is simply Plaster of Paris mixed with water and tempera paint. Using sidewalk chalk helps build little hand muscles which will help when they are in school, practicing writing their ABC’s.

Here is what you need…-toilet paper or paper towel tubes (basically a mold– next time I’m going to Ikea for some of their silicone ice trays, they always have cute shapes!)
-scissors
-duct tape
-wax paper
-3/4 cup warm water
-small bucket or disposable container
-1 1/2 cups Plaster of Paris (I waited for the Michael’s 40% off coupon in the mail and bought a huge bucket for under $3)
-2-3 tablespoons tempera paint
1. Cover one end of each tube with duct tape. Cut as many pieces of wax paper as you have tubes. Each piece should be as long as the tube and about 4 inches wide. Roll up each piece of wax paper and slip it into the tube. (Note: My wax paper kept getting crunched up inside the tube as the Plaster of Paris mixture was pretty thick. Next time I would probably tape it to the outside of the tube to prevent it from slipping down inside.)

2. Pour the water into the bowl or bucket. Sprinkle the Plaster of Paris over the water and stir the mixture thoroughly. Mix in the paint. (I started with yellow and divided it in half to stir some red into one half in order to make orange, then I did a batch of green and a batch of red.)

3. Place each tube tape side down on a level surface. Pour the wet plaster mixture into the tubes. Lightly tap the sides of each tube to release air bubbles, then set the plaster-filled tube aside to harden for a few days. (Mine was dry over night.) Once they are dry, peel off the tubes and wax paper. Your chalk is ready for action!