Tag Archives: #PinterestFail

Keep the kids entertained with new summertime ideas

The Summer of Pinterest, Part 4 …

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By Jacki Wood for the Nodaway News Leader

    School’s been out for over a month now and you’ve heard your kids say “I’m bored” about 2,581 times. Right?!

You could probably use some new and easy ideas to keep them entertained and enjoying their summer break.

We can help with over 400 ideas on our Summer Fun Pinterest page.

I don’t have any little ones at my house anymore, so I asked my 15-year-old daughter, Hannah, and my 12-year-old niece, Jaden, to help some of my younger nieces, Zoe, Ailey and Kaiya, and a cousin’s daughter, Daycee, with a couple of summer fun ideas: Spray Sidewalk Chalk and Glow-in-the-Dark Bubbles.

Both activities were fun and simple but both had some #PinterestFail elements to them.

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Spray Sidewalk Chalk

The idea for spray sidewalk chalk comes from GrowingAJeweledRose.com.

This mom of two writes: “liquid chalk makes a great spray paint for kids and is sure to keep them busy for a good, long time. The recipe is super easy, easily washes off of surfaces and the spray bottles are also great for fine motor development.”

Making the spray chalk was no problem and it easily washes off the sidewalk and other outdoor surfaces. Her recipe calls for food coloring or washable watercolors. She warned the food coloring may tinge clothing, so she advised to wear play clothes or use the washable watercolors.

Since we did this activity at a family reunion, I opted for the washable watercolors. The #PinterestFail part came because there wasn’t enough color added in each squirt bottle so their creations ended up looking all white. I think you need to add more than just a “few drops” if you choose the washable watercolors, like maybe 10 or even more drops.

I couldn’t find the watercolors locally so I ordered them on Amazon – Sargent Art Watercolor Magic which comes in a pack of 10 colors.

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      Materials:

  • Spray bottles
  • Corn Starch
  • Baking soda
  • Food coloring or washable watercolors
  • Optional: if you want to make the spray chalk art erupt, you will also want a few squirt bottles of vinegar (we didn’t try this but it sounds fun).

      Directions:

Fill the spray bottles 1/3 of the way with a baking soda and corn starch mixture, using roughly equal amounts of both ingredients. Add a few drops of food coloring or washable watercolors and then fill the bottles with very warm water.

Use a butter knife to stir the mixture as best you can and then place the spray spouts on and shake the bottles really well.

You will want to shake the bottles once more just before play, as some of the corn starch will settle at the bottom of the bottle.

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Glow-in-the-Dark Bubbles

This seems like a very simple activity from TheIdeaRoom.net. And I think it could and should be. But we had a couple of problems.

When we went to break the glow sticks to pour the liquid into the bottles of bubbles, we realized the glow sticks we purchased had small glass vials inside the plastic tube. These were the only ones at our local Wal-Mart.

So in trying to break or cut the glass vials, we ended up with broken shards of glass everywhere. But we were still able to get the liquid into the bottles so it all worked out okay.

The bottles lit up with the glowing liquid which was fun to see on a summer’s night. However, when the girls blew, the bubbles themselves didn’t glow very much. But the girls had fun with their bright bottles, so all in all, it was a fun and successful activity. Next time, I’ll try to find different glow sticks to use.

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      Materials:

  • Glow sticks
  • Bubbles

      Directions:

Break or cut open glow sticks. Pour contents into the bottle of bubbles. Shake well and have fun.

Additional ideas can be found on the NNL’s “Summer Fun” Pinterest page including games, activities, treats and more. Visit pinterest.com/nodawaynews/summer-fun/.

 

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Put a little pop in your 4th of July celebration

The Summer of Pinterest, Part 3 …

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By Jacki Wood for the Nodaway News Leader

Need some new ideas for your Independence Day family get-together or neighborhood gathering? We’ve got you covered. The NNL Fourth of July Pinterest page has over 200 ideas to help you out.

We experimented with three ideas this week: Confetti Launchers, Firecracker Cookies and July 4th Layered Drinks. And did so pretty successfully.

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Confetti Launchers

This simple idea comes from the Piikea Street blog, piikeastreet.com, as a kid-friendly, inexpensive alternative to real fireworks. They write: “No big bangs or smoke but still very cool.” I used patriotic paper but these would be fun for your kids to get creative with and do the decorating on their own.

      Materials:

  • toilet paper tubes
  • decorative paper or markers
  • 12” balloons
  • tape
  • paper
  • scissors

      Directions:

Cut some paper into confetti-sized squares and set aside.

Decorate your tubes anyway you like with paper or markers.

Cut a balloon in half and tie the end. Wrap the larger end of the balloon over one end of the tube and secure with tape. Try your best to keep the balloon taut but don’t bend it.

Take your poppers and confetti outside. Add a heavy pinch of confetti to the tube. Point it out, pull back the balloon end, let go and enjoy.

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Firecracker Cookies

These cute sugar cookies come from MomDot.com and are sure to put a pop in your July 4th party … literally. You top these sugar cookies with pop rocks which pop in your mouth. She suggests topping with red pop rocks as well as a white sugar and blue gel mixture. To save time, I thought I would top them with both red and blue pop rocks and omit the blue sugar. I purchased red and blue packages of pop rocks; however, the blue, which was tropical punch flavored, ended up looking more green than blue. So I’d go the blue sugar route.

      Ingredients:

  • your favorite sugar cookie recipe or pre-made refrigerated cookie dough
  • butter cream or white frosting
  • 2 packs of red pop rocks
  • white sugar and blue gel paste

      Directions:

Make your favorite sugar cookie recipe and frost after they have cooled. Create blue sugar by adding sugar and blue gel paste into a blender and turn on for 30 seconds. Sprinkle sugar on frosting and then sprinkle pop rocks on cookies. You will hear them crackle as they hit the frosting. If you’re not going to be serving them right away, you might want to wait to top with the pop rocks.

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July 4th Layered Drinks

These non-alcoholic drinks are fun and perfect for your family or neighborhood gathering. They come from InKatrinasKitchen.com.

She says “you can layer the drinks in any way you like but the secret is in the sugar content. The other secret to success with layered drinks is plenty of ice.”

We had to play around with them some as we got too much cranapple juice in one and not enough in another. Despite those minor issues, they looked fun and tasted good, too.

      Ingredients:

  • 1 C. red cranapple juice
  • 1 C. white Sobe piña colada drink
  • 1 C. blue G2 Gatorade
  • ice

      Directions:

Fill your glass 1/3 of the way full with cranapple juice.

Then fill to the top with ice.

Slowly, pour the second layer directly on top of an ice cube. Then repeat with the third layer.

Note: you must pour slowly and directly over the ice for it to work.

Additional ideas can be found on the NNL’s “Fourth of July” Pinterest page including decorations, treats, crafts for the kids, games and more. Visit pinterest.com/nodawaynews/fourth-of-july.

 


Put a twist on your s’mores this summer

The Summer of Pinterest, Part 2 …

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By Jacki Wood for the Nodaway News Leader

    S’mores scream summer yum and fun, sitting around a campfire, enjoying the stars and lightning bugs.

But there’s more you can do with your graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows. Pinterest is full of ideas for variations on s’mores, especially when you’re not near a campfire or fire pit and still have a craving for that favorite summer treat.

My 17-year-old son, Hunter, who loves to cook and bake, helped me with these s’mores ideas.

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S’mores in a Jar

This idea came from OliviasCuisine.com. She writes: “My favorite thing about making S’mores in a Jar is that they are portable.”

They are made indoors but can be enjoyed anywhere and her recipe goes a bit beyond normal s’mores because she utilizes a simple ganache.

She used half-pint jars but we had some extra pint jars from last week’s projects so Hunter doubled it and did two layers instead of just one; a little different than hers but they turned out great. I loved that these could be eaten with a spoon and not the mess. And the ganache was a fun twist.

      Ingredients:

  • 4 chocolate bars, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C. heavy cream
  • 1 C. marshmallow creme
  • 16 graham cracker squares
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • mini marshmallows for topping
  • 4 half-pint jars

Instructions:

In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream until bubbles start to form on the side, about two minutes.

Add the chopped chocolate to a medium-sized bowl and pour the hot heavy cream on top. Let it sit for a minute and then whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Process the graham crackers until finely crumbed. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside.

To assemble, start by adding 1/4 of the graham cracker mixture to the bottom of the jars. Then add 1/4 of the marshmallow creme, 1/4 of the ganache and finish off by topping with marshmallows.

Using a cooking torch, toast the marshmallows until browned. Or, you can line the marshmallows in a baking sheet and put them under the broiler until toasted.

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Baked S’mores Bars

This is another twist that can be made indoors. It comes from RachelSchultz.com. It’s one we’ve actually been making for a couple of years now because I’m not really a fan of traditional s’mores. I don’t like that the chocolate never melts enough and the marshmallows never turn out perfectly when we roast them. So this recipe satisfies those things for me. It’s melted chocolate and marshmallow bliss. No #PinterestFail with this one.

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      Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C. butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 and 1/3 C. flour
  • 3/4 C. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 king-sized milk chocolate bars
  • 1 and 1/2 C. marshmallow creme

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350˚. Cream butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg and vanilla together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into butter mixture. Press half of dough into a greased 9×9 pan. Set chocolate bars on top. Spread marshmallow creme over chocolate and top with remaining dough.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden. Don’t worry if the marshmallow oozes out the top. Makes 9 bars.

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S’mores Campfire Cones

This s’mores twist from FrugalCouponLiving.com is fun and easy, whether you’re camping in the woods or just grilling in your backyard.

I maybe got a little too confident with my no #PinterestFail comment above after our recent successes because we had a couple of problems with this one. Now that we know what we did wrong, though, a little tweaking should improve them.

Hunter layered the marshmallows and chocolate chips so that when it melted, all of the melted marshmallow was together in a clump, either at the top or the bottom of the cone, and all of the melted chocolate was together. We decided it would be good to mix the marshmallows and chocolate chips together in a bowl and then add them to the cone that way. Parts of the cone also got a bit charred so we would recommend the lower amount of time and put them back on the grill or campfire if longer is needed.

      Ingredients:

  • 12 sugar or waffle cones
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 12 oz chocolate chips
  • optional: butterscotch chips or any other flavor (we also tried peanut butter with the chocolate)

Instructions:

Fill each cone with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap in aluminum foil.

Heat on the grill or campfire for 7 to 10 minutes (also works in the oven). Keep away from direct flames.

Be careful as contents may be hot. Unwrap and enjoy.

Additional s’mores ideas can be found on the NNL’s “Summer Fun” Pinterest page including s’mores brownies, cheesecake, cheese ball, parfait, cobbler, snack mix and even fried s’mores.

For these and other ideas for the summer, visit pinterest.com/nodawaynews/summer-fun.

 


Get crafty with simple mason jar projects

The Summer of Pinterest, Part 1 …

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By Jacki Wood for the Nodaway News Leader

Have you ever tried a project, idea or recipe you found on Pinterest … and it didn’t come out quite like you’d hoped?

You’re not alone.

Branded as the world’s catalog of ideas, Pinterest users can “pin” ideas to try, but many find themselves disappointed at the end result.

There’s even an entire Pinterest Fail website, “where good intentions come to die,” devoted to Pinterest lovers who have shared projects that failed. And there are plenty of posts all across social media of hilarious failures.

So we thought it would be fun to do a little experimenting of our own this summer. And I convinced (forced) my family to help me out.

I’ve been pinning ideas on Pinterest for about five years now and have tried well over 100 recipes as well as ideas for home improvement, family reunions, hairstyles and even road trips.

This series will focus on several different ideas perfect for the summertime for you and your family. And we’ll see if they actually turn out perfectly. Or if we need to add it to the Pinterest Fail website.

We’re starting with a pretty ordinary object that can be transformed into a ton of different ideas for every corner of your home and summertime activity – mason jars.

My 15-year-old daughter, Hannah, helped me pick out two mason jar projects from the NNL’s So Crafty Pinterest board. We thought the Mason Jar Fairy Lights and the Mason Jar Citronella Candles would be fun to have when she has friends over for a summer party.

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Mason Jar Fairy Lights

This idea came from the DIY Joy website. It was very simple and easy to follow with both a how-to video as well as step-by-step written instructions with photos.

The website says: “this cool glow in the dark craft is a neat project idea for kids and teens. These fairy glow jars are fun for after-dark outdoors ideas but they also make great DIY home decor for kids rooms or dorm decor.”

      Materials:

  • Mason Jar (any clean jar will do)
  • Glow in the Dark Paint (use several different colors)
  • Paintbrushes (preferably longer ones that reach to the bottom of the jar)
  • Scrap Paper
  • White School Glue (optional)
  • Glitter (optional)

Hannah had no trouble with this project at all. It was quick and easy and she was pleased with how they turned out. And it was relatively inexpensive, especially if you have old jars lying around.

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Mason Jar Citronella Candles

This idea came from MartysMusings.net. It was also very simple with step-by-step instructions and photos. And it provides a very cheap alternative to keep the mosquitoes away this summer.

      Materials:

  • Mason Jar (or any glass jar) with lid and ring
  • Citronella Torch Fuel
  • 1/8″ Lamp Wicks
  • Nail Punch, Screwdriver or a Nail and Hammer

This was also very quick and easy for Hannah. Our local Wal-Mart didn’t have the lamp wicks so we purchased thick twine as well as tiki torch wicks to try. The torch wicks were too big, especially for pint jars. And even the twine was perhaps a bit too big. On a windy day, the flame got a little big. But as long as it’s not left unattended, I think it would be fine.

Additional mason jar ideas can be found on the NNL’s “So Crafty” Pinterest page including bird feeders, soap dispensers, home decor, gifts in a jar and much more.

For these and other crafty ideas, visit pinterest.com/nodawaynews/so-crafty.