Monday, January 30, 2012

Teach Your Daughters...

Pretty is as pretty does...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Spy Bottle Tutorial

Sadie is "Star of the Week" at her school this week!  In celebration of my little star, I'm going to go to her class on Friday and do a little project with the kids!  After scouring Pinterest for hours and finding dozens of awesome kiddo projects, I finally decided on this one - easy + inexpensive + cute + entertaining...I think you'll like it!

This project was inspired by several really good "I Spy Bottle" examples on the web -- especially Counting Coconuts and Meet the Dubiens.  Great projects - check them out!  Since ours is going to be on a large scale (22 kids), we had to find a way to make it super inexpensive without sacrificing the "awesomeness" of the I Spy game.

You'll Need
 - A jar or bottle with a screw-on lid
 - random buttons and trinkets
 - rice
 - food coloring
 - hot glue
Each "I Spy Bottle" cost us about $1 (jar + rice + buttons + other materials factored in).  This has turned out to be fairly inexpensive (I think $22 is pretty good for the mileage we're going to get out of the project, don't you?).  If you planned ahead (who does that?), you could get the jars donated or collect drink bottles to use instead.  Here's how we did it:

Step 1:  Dye the rice!
Step 2: Select the buttons you're going to use.  I used wire cutters to clip the button loops off the ones that didn't lay flat so that rice wouldn't get stuck in the hole (and so that they'd be flat for the game card photos).

Step 3:  Line the buttons up on a plain background and take a photo of them.  The photo will serve as the game card for the game (i.e., you have to find everything on the photo to win).  You can use pennies (or anything, really) as a marker to indicate the ones you've found!
We used a plain poster board and a sunshiney spot in the house to make sure we got good photos for her friends''s the setup for the above photo:

For the class project, we decided to do 9 buttons per child.  Sadie helped me pick out colorful ones, and we separated them out into 22 baggies of nine buttons each.  Each baggie will have a corresponding "game card" photo.  Sadie's game card will look like this (she picked out her own buttons, of course):

When we do the class project with all of her friends on Friday, each child will receive a jar with a lid, one bag of buttons, the corresponding game card photo and one little pre-portioned zipper baggie of colored rice. 

It'll be their job to combine the ingredients!

Step 4:  Add the buttons to your jar.  We are going to be using baby food jars for all of her friends' I Spy Bottles.  $0.64 each.

Step 5:  Add rice.  You can cut a corner from the bottom of your zipper bag to make a "funnel" for pouring.

And then they can pour it into their jars!

Step 6: Hot glue the lid in place so that you don't have future unexpected messes. 

Step 7: Shake, shake, shake until the I Spy objects and the rice are all mixed together, and voila!   

With your game card photo in hand, you'll have an easy I Spy game that will keep the munchkins entertained!  I've seen these done in themes as well (animals, alphabet, colors, etc.).  They would make great valentines or Sunday school projects, too!

Have fun!

Dyeing Rice for Sensory Projects

I found a basic tutorial for rice dyeing on e-how, but I had to make a couple of in-a-pinch changes.  Here's how we did it:

You'll Need
 - large back of white rice
 - food coloring (we had to improvise with the gel kind, but it worked fine...just took a little more "mixing")
 - white vinegar
 - large bowl with lid

The steps below will make 2.5lbs of colored rice:
Step 1: Pour 1 cup of vinegar into a large bowl
Step 2:  Mix desired food coloring into vinegar - be generous if you want the color to saturate (about 10 drops of color)

Step 3: Pour in about 2.5lbs of white rice
Step 4: Shake (and shake and shake and shake) - you'll want to agitate it enough that every grain starts to look approximately the same color - shaking for about a minute should do the trick.

Step 5: Lay the rice out on a drying towel in a shallow layer so that it can dry.  Most people recommend leaving it in the sunshine on a nice day - that's what we did, and it worked great! 2 hours, and our rice was dry.

Step 6:  Bag it up, and use it in sensory projects for the kiddos!

Colored rice is great in place of sand because it's easier to clean up, the texture is great, the colors are fun, and it's completely non-toxic.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

...and on Pinterest :)

It's been a busy night!  Southern Disposition is now pinning on Pinterest!  Click here to follow!

If you haven't already, please "like" SD on facebook!

Southern Disposition on Facebook!

I finally made a Southern Disposition page - I'll try to get a few tutorials up today - in the meantime, please "like" SD on facebook for updates and posts!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Errant Thought Roundup 51

I love, I love, I hate, I hate,
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray,
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love that Sadie and I randomly decided to go to the movies tonight - woohoo!  Girls night out! ;)
I love the feeling of hope.  Some people have no idea what that feels like.
I hate how long people can hold a grudge - seriously?  Stop wasting your time -- you're only hurting yourself and you only live once.  Make it count, sister.
I hate the leg pop in photos (I'm sorry if you're a popper - I'm not trying to cramp your style).  Ohmygoodness.  It's getting to be as bad (and sadly, as popular) as the stupid duckface.  People in 100 years are going to look at photos of 20 year olds with popped legs and duck faces and think, "Oh - how sad!  My great grandma and all her friends had the same strange muscular disease!"
I like catching up on my friends' blogs.  Sometimes it takes me 3 weeks between check-ins, but I'm always rewarded with wit from the smartest people I know.
I wish people were more motivated.
For goodness sake, if the world's gonna end this year, we should live it up, right?
I hope that someday, somewhere, people will discover that chocolate is the cure for cancer.  This world would be awesome(r) if chocolate cured cancer.
I hope this 40 degree weather continues right on through March.  I probably sound like a curmudgeon for not wanting any more snow.  Once a year is plenty.
I pray for the miraculous.  It still happens.
I pray for Damascus Road experiences in the lives of some peeps I know.  Loose the chains, yo.
I will ask myself at the end of the day tomorrow, "What did I do today that moves me in the right direction?"  And then I'll ask myself the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that...because after 365 times moving in the "right" direction, something good is bound to happen.
I won't be a shrinking violet.  I'm nice, but I'm not a doormat.  Watch me get feisty...
And for week is going to be CRAZY in my world.  Any takers for Errant Thought Roundup #52?  Pretty please?  With a cherry on top?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Little Mathematician

We've been working on math.  I know it's weird, but kindergartens here expect these munchkins to have a third grade education when they get to school.  WHY?!  I don't know, but we do reading and math games at home so that she won't be behind when she gets to the big K.

Last night, Sadie and I were practicing addition, and she finally grasped the concept of adding two numbers together to make a new number.  It was like a light bulb switched on...I LOVE that moment!  We used a piece of paper with a circle in it, and a stack of rhinestones.  [Wait, what?  You don't use rhinestones for your math problems?  Beans, schmeans...we bling it up in our house.]

I would write a basic math problem:

And she'd place rhinestones equaling the top number (2) into the circle, and then she'd place rhinestones equaling the bottom number (3) into the circle.  Once she had both pieces of the problem in the circle, she would count them up, and voila!  She would write the answer below the line, and the problem was solved!

This morning, I walked into the living room, and she was making up her own math problems...she DEFINITELY did 5+5=10 all by herself in the living room floor while I was still trying to pry my eyes open.

Here's 0+5 (have you ever tried to teach the concept of "zero" to a preschooler?  That one took a while...)

Guess who's proud?  Addition is about as far as my math expertise will take us, so I might as well pretend to be smart now while she still thinks I am.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fabric Row

Friday was the last day at work for my friend, Laura.  She's moving back home to Texas!  Since we are both kind of fabric junkies, we decided to sneak out of the office on Friday and go to Fabric Row to see what all the hype was about.

omgeeeeeeeeeeeeee - FABRIC!  What more hype do you need?  Store, after store, after store of fabric.  The coolest part of the trip was that most of the stores had been there since the stone ages (well...75-100 years), so they had amazing vintage fabrics.  Fabrics that had been on the shelves since my grandparents were children...whoa.

My favorite shop was Paul's.  The shop had been in business for 92 years.  I bet you a bolt of vintage fabric you haven't been around for 92 years.

Check out this picture of the inside of the shop:

Here are some things you need to know:
1) It smells like a old one.  It's fabulous.
2) The chipped 50's paint on everything makes you feel like you're in a time capsule.
3) The little man in the photo (leaning on one of the tables - left of the photo) is "Paul" - isn't he wonderful?
4) The framed wedding portrait (top of the photo) is of the original owners on their wedding day in 1919.  
5) I am *definitely* going back to Paul's to buy some amazing 1940's-1960's fabric we found there.  I should have taken a pic of's stunning.  

I'll miss Laura so much!  I can think of very few people in the world who would be as awesome to take on a fabric excursion.  If I ever have a "last day" in Philadelphia, I hope this is what it looks like. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Errant Thought Roundup 50

WHOA - Fifty ETRs!  I feel like I should celebrate this milestone with some Oreos and milk!


I love, I love, I hate, I hate,
I like, I wish, for goodness sake,
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray,
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love this sweet little thing:

I love Back to the Future.  I know that makes me a geek, but it's seriously my favorite movie (the whole trilogy!) of all time.
I hate getting the cold shoulder.  So silly.
I hate that after 18 cumulative years of dance, I can still manage to do this to myself while walking running to the train:

Ugh.  It was like the gravel came toward me (and not the other way around).  If you fall while in the middle of a dead run, for a split second you get the sensation that you're flying.  But that all ends once you slide down the tracks like you're trying to steal home.  Thankful that: 1) I was wearing jeans.  2) My jeans weren't ripped.  3) Only my legs and hands were hurt.  Everything else - unscathed. 4) The conductor held the train for me...who WOULDN'T feel sorry for a grown-arse woman falling flat on her face beside the tracks.
I like it when my husband cooks.  One less thing to think about in a day - he's the best.
I wish you could hear Sadie sound out words.  I LOVE IT...even though sometimes she sounds like Coach Z, it's so fun to hear her read.  Coach Z?  Educate yourself:
Allow me to apologize in advance for the four minutes and one second of your life you will waste if you watch that video.
For goodness sake, I'm so thankful that I didn't have facebook when I was being an idiot in college. (How many times can I say that?!)  It's bad enough that I have it when I'm an idiot as an adult.  Train wrecks.  Every day.  Right there on the book of faces.  I have friends who would have been perfectly mature enough to handle a facebook account while in college.  I wasn't one of them.
I hope I can learn to be less selfish...I've been becoming aware of my selfishness lately.
I hope I go to bed before 10pm tonight - hasn't happened in a while.  I'm exhausted.
I pray for calm.
I pray that I don't wish my life away while I'm hoping for things to move quickly.
I will finish War and Peace within the next two weeks - so exciting!
I won't burn the bridge.  Even if I want to.
And for today...I have faith.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Texts From This Morning

[Text conversation while I was on the 7:45 train to the city]

Eric:  Do you know where her new clothes are?
Eric:  Otherwise, it's ragamuffin highwater time
Me:  Laundry Room
Eric:  Thank you, doob.
{a few minutes later}
Eric:  What shoes?

Eric:  I'm thinking purple shoes.
Me:  Hehe - silver will be fine :)
Eric:  You know I can still screw this up.
Eric:  I love you.

I can totally picture the two of them posing that shot so that they'd make sure I got the full gist of the outfit...I love my family.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Third Year Party

Last night, Eric and I went to downtown Philadelphia for a party for the third year optometry students at his school because they are officially done seeing each other until they GRADUATE next May (WHAT?!?!).  I found out in the middle of last week that the shindig was "formal" and had a mini freak-out (I have major ones all the time, so I am justified in classifying this one as "mini") because I had no idea what grown-ups wear to formal events.  Alas, I have several extremely intelligent friends in whose capable feedback I put my faith.

After Sadie and I went shopping ALL DAY on Saturday, the freak-out was over.  (Whew!)  You haven't lived until you've had a four year old as your shopping buddy for an entire day of department store-hopping.  In between breaks for ice cream and French fries, I had a very tiny helper for all of my zip-ups and zip-downs, color selections, and honest reactions.  It was fabulous.  I will loan her out to you for a small fee.

The ever-fabulous Denise Sadie-sat for us while we went out on the town.  So thankful for her!

We had an awesome time!  Here are a few photos from the event (some of which I stole, shamelessly, from other people's facebook posts):

Keith, Meg, Eric, and me - LOVE these guys...

Me and Meg :)

The fellas:  Andy, Phil, Chris, Eric, Keith, and Marc

Keith and Eric

Dinner!  Carolyn, me, Eric, Chris, Heather, and Phil

Keith took this one with his cell phone...that fedora made it's way around the entire dance floor.

Marc and Eric 

End-of-the-night photo, courtesy of Marc:

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