Easy Outdoor Fun

My daughter loves playing outside.  I on the other hand hate it prefer the indoors.  I’m starting to find happiness in outdoor activities and wanted to share some of my favorite outdoor activities.

1.  Bubbles

Homemade bubble solution – gently mix the ingredients to prevent foaming.  distilled water works best but any water will do.

  • 1 cup Dawn dish soap
  • 10 cups water
  • 10 drops glycerin (bought in the pharmacy department)

Many different things can be used as a bubble wand – pipe cleaners, looped ribbon, etc.  I use bubble wands saved from purchased bubbles.

Here’s a link to – Homemade Bubble Solutions.  Many good recipes.  I got my recipe from The Bubble Time guys.  My daughter and I saw these guys live and it was great.  if you look them up on YouTube they have bubble workshops to teach you how to make great bubbles.

If you don’t feel like making your own bubbles I’ve found it helpful to add some dawn dish soap to store bought bubbles.  It makes for bigger, stronger bubbles.

2.  Baking soda volcanoes

This was a fantastic activity for my daughter and several of her friends.  I brought out the supplies and asked them what they thought would happen.

Supplies needed – some are optional

  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  • assorted containers
  • measuring spoons
  • funnel
  • food dye
  • dish soap
  • tissues

now if you are creative a google search will give you many recipes on how to make a paper mache volcano.  I used various containers instead (soda bottle, wide mouth jar, a cup).  We experimented with different combinations until we got the desired result.  I definately would recommend this activity for outside as it’s very messy.  We even tried a baking soda “bomb” by wrapping up a pile of baking soda in a tissue and dropping it into a large amount of vinegar.

3.  Water Play

We have a tote full of various items that are meant to get wet.  there are the spongy balls, water shooters, a sprinkler, her new water table and more.  Last summer I would accidently miss watering the garden and water the kids instead.  They LOVED it.

4.  Family Garden

We have a garden – last year we planted our first garden.  It wasn’t successful as far as yield goes but it was a good experience.  This year we are working on another garden.  We picked out the seeds together, planted them in sead starters together and will watch them grow together.  Every day new things can be found in a family garden.




Dining in Style!

for the first time in my adult life I enjoyed dining outdoors!  With a thoughtful gift(card) from my sister for our anniversary we finally had enough cash to buy our gazebo.  I’m in love!  My husband put it together and placed it back near the lilac tree and wood line.  Our patio table and chairs fit inside perfectly.  I went to Kmart and picked up a flickering led lantern so we could dine in style!  LOVED IT!

My husband thought that I would spend more time outside if I could do so in a more protective setting.  The beautiful netting shields me from most bugs and the canopy helps protect me from the sun.  just wanted to share some pictures of my new outdoor getaway!

Poison Ivy Relief

So I woke up Friday morning with a “lovely” little patch of poison ivy rash on my face.  I don’t know how I got it but it’s there.  Normally this would cause my OCD to go into overdrive but I’m working on taking it in stride.

So there is a small cluster of the red hot itchy blisters on my thumb, two sections on my face (probably from the spot on my thumb) and it’s been slowly spreading out to other places (my side, arm, leg, etc).  Poison ivy is probably the number 1 reason I hate being outside.

Yesterday morning I woke up and felt terrible.  this wasn’t good because I had a celebration I was attending and photographing.  I remembered that I had just purchased some Dickenson Witch Hazel from Walmart the other day to use once my current toner runs out.  I remembered reading on the bottle that it temporarily relieves minor skin irritations due to: Minor cuts — Minor scrapes — Insect bites.  Now I don’t know about minor but poison ivy is definately a skin irritation.

I gotta say it helped take away much of the burning pain.  So today I looked online to see what else Witch hazel can help with and found this article:

15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel.  Gotta say I’m impressed.

Planting Flowers

Months ago my husband bought me the plant stands below.  I was very confused as to why he would buy these for me since I really don’t like dirt but when I asked him he stated that they were on clearance and really cheap.  I finally decided that if we were going to keep these plant stands that they needed plants on them so the other day I went to Walmart and bought these 9 bright red pots and today I bought a rather large bag of dirt.  The back of our house is yucky and gross and I rarely ever go back there.  The ground looks dead and my husband has yet to clean the siding so it’s a little funky (he takes care of the outside and I take care of the inside of the home).  My daughter and I filled the 9 bright red pots today full of dirt and seeds.  I thought that if I put the pots back where it was yucky and gross that once they start to bloom it wouldn’t feel so bad back there.  Maybe we’ll even want to take care of it back there.

planted are poppies, catnip, assorted herbs, wildflowers, perenial mix, marigolds, nasturtiums.  It’ll be bright and colorful.

Our dog really enjoyed being outside with us as well.


Edited to add pictures of the flowers my husband gave me for our anniversary:

Decluttered the shed and played in the creek

After surviving the outing I was starting to feel energized.  I was ready to tackle the shed.  We only have 3 small closets in our home so everything goes in the shed (or on the family room floor).  My husband pulled out the grill which required everything being taken out and then put back in so it was a hot mess.  craziness abounds.  I took with me a roll of masking tape, a black sharpie, garbage bags and a microfiber rag.

One by one I pulled out a tote, sorted through it and pulled out items for the yard sale.  The mismatched items put together and totes formed lines out on the lawn.  As I pulled out an item for the yard sale I wiped it over if needed with the rag and then priced it then and there.  It felt good knowing that at least those items won’t be priced during the yard sale itself because it’s already done.

2 full totes ready for the yard sale.

Here’s what I was able to sort and organzine!

  1. 2 yard sale totes
  2. 4 totes full of my daughter’s things for her to ultimately decide what to do with.
  3. 3 Halloween totes – decorations, costumes, etc.
  4. 1 Thanksgiving/ autumn decorations tote
  5. 4 Christmas decorations totes

There is more to go but I’m proud of my accomplishments today.  1/2 the shed is neat and organized.

The Creek

I’m not very good at outside play.  My daughter asked to play in the small section of woods near the creek.  The answer is always no but today it was a yes.  I figured I was outside sorting totes so she would be within earshot if needed.  She ran up to me and was so excited about a “BIG ROCK!” that you could walk on and she wanted me to see it SOOO BAD.  Normally I would say no.  Today I said sure if you help me finish up a small section in the shed.  We walked into the woods and she pointed down the steep slope down to the creek bed and rocky shore.  She slide on her butt down the hill and yelled up, “See Mom!  That’s a big rock isn’t it?”  I must admit it was huge.  I stared at the slope – battling within myself – “Do I go down? I could get dirty?  My shoes might get dirty and I really like these shoes.  What if I fall?  I could get a cut and bleed and then I would have to look at it.  If I lost my balance and had to touch NATURE then my hands would surely get dirty.  The dirt would get on my clothes and then what if the wash machine doesn’t get the dirt out all the way or what if dirt is left in my washer and then the dirt would get on my other (dirty) clothes.  What if I get down there and there is a spider?  What if I step on a snake?  What if, what if, what if.  maybe i can search for an easier way down because this way is MUCH TOO RISKY but then I’d be walking further into NATURE and then I might encounter more unpleasant things and I don’t want to disappoint her but I JUST CANT DO IT”  This internal monologue took all of 1 minute and I gave you the abridged version.

I was about to say, “okay now, it’s time to come back up” when the unthinkable happened.  My feet took me down the steep slope.  I had to quickly force my hands out of my pockets so I could actually make it safetly down the hill. but I didn’t fall.  It was easy – much easier than I ever could have thought.  I walked right over to the giant rock and climbed up it with her.  On my way down the hill I saw some spring flowers hidden in an unusual place and wandered up the rocky shore to show her my discovery.  It was beautiful – she thought so too.

She was overwhelmed with childhood delight and was telling me how much she loved it down there.  I remember loving it once when I was young before the OCD took hold.  I remember the adventures, my love for nature.  She saw an “undiscovered island” in the middle of the creek.  This creek is only a few inches deep (6 at the most) and about 15 feet across, maybe 20.  The island was a small section of rocky ground that was barely above the water.  she started building a rock bridge to get to this exciting island.  her feet were getting wet, so were her socks and pant legs.  It was a bit chilly out and I thought about correcting her and heading back up when I found myself bending down to pick up a large, dirty rock.  I carried it over and added it to her bridge.  I add another, and another.  I saw some spiders, a salamander, lots of mud, thankfully no snakes.  I stepped on her bridge and felt the water seeping into my favorite shoes and I stepped further in.  I dropped a particularly heavy rock in the next spot and water splashed up over me and her and she started laughing so loud.  I laughed a bit too.  We got her bridge to a point where she thought she could jump to the island.  It was a bit too far and I knew she couldn’t make it.  Normally I would say that it wasn’t good enough yet and make her go the extra step to make it just right.  I said, “Go for it”.  She was a few inches shy of the dry land but i knew she would be safe (wet, but safe).  She picked up some rocks from the other side and added a few to make up for the shortage and proudly walked back across and said, “we made this – our bridge to our island.”

Hesitation is a problem maker (though it is a safety mechanism).  Mine is overactive.  It was time to climb that slope.  Normally I would second guess every step, every scenerio and ultimately need help getting up the hill.  I just went for it and beat her up the hill and was actually able to offer someone else the helping hand.  Which she refused to my delight because “she got this”.  she figured it out on her own.  she won’t be stuck staring helplessly at a situation without working her way through.

Today was my day to explore the creek instead of passing this opportunity off to my husband like all the times before.