Fire Kit

Ah, the tiny, yet versatile Altoids tin. I love all the stuff you can do with these. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while. Especially since I made my fire starters!

As usual, you start with an empty Altoids tin. Then gather together your items.

In my fire kit I have:

•a flint and steel, found in the camping section at Walmart

•a standard Bic lighter, found anywhere

•lint, found in the lint trap of your dryer

•waterproof fire starter, directions on making and using found here

I wrapped the fire starter in aluminum foil to stop it from spreading it’s stickiness.

Then I put a rubber band around the whole kit to help hold it closed. This kit can help when camping, or, as mine will, it’s going to eventually be in my 72-hour bag.

Let me know how yours turns out!

Drinking Around the World at Epcot

As stated in my last blog, we spent the last full week in Orlando. We had our first day at Epcot, which I enjoyed much more than the first year we went. I planned out this trip out to make the most of it. 

Tony, my brother Josh, my cousin Ben and I were going to drink our way around the world at Epcot. I had read about this on Pinterest and it sounded like a lot of fun. 

We started in Mexico, where Tony and I shared a Mango Margarita. It wasn’t very good, but it got us started. The churros we got to go with it were very good. I had never had them before, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Next stop was Norway, where we had Einstöck White Ale. I’m not a big beer/ale/lager drinker, so I had a few hits out of this souvenir glass. It wasn’t bad, even for a non-ale drinker.

On to China! This drink is called Tipsy Ducks in Love. It is a coffee flavored delight! Tony and I both enjoyed this one immensely. We had to stop for lunch in China because my brother, unbeknownst to me, had drank a shot and a full drink in Norway and China and was a little wobbly. No breakfast and the heat, combined with the alcohol, left him reeling.

Africa isn’t really a country at Epcot, more of a “trading post”, but we still got a drink. This is a Frozen Elephant, which is their fancy name for a Coke slushy. It was really yummy either way.

This delightful shot is called a Bärenjäger Honey & Bourbon. You find them in Germany and they are delicious and smooth. I actually stole this from my brother. Didn’t want my baby brother to drink himself sick after all….

Nothing says Italy like a Bellini! Peach was my choice today. There can never be anything wrong with Bellinis around!

Boulder Beer was our choice in America. The boys enjoyed them, with me taking sips to say I did. Just can’t develop the taste buds to enjoy beer, sorry.

Cold Sake in Japan? Yes, I think I will. My brother enjoyed his, but he also spent two years in the real Japan, drinking this all the time. It hits hard, so if this is your choice, available hot or cold, sip cautiously, you’re a little over halfway done.

This is a Sultan’s Colada, found in Morocco. It’s a Pina Colada, but I like those, so it was all good. They had a variety of slushy drinks, alcoholic and non, so we enjoyed a variety at this particular stand.

We backtracked to Norway for our dinner reservations, then made our way back to France to enjoy some wine. Vouvray Sauvignon was my choice, as it was one of the French vintages available. I love whites, so it was a winner. A little drier than I normally like, but I’m far from a wine buff.

This is an English Rose, obviously from the United Kingdom. The boys got their beers and ales, but I went a little fruity. Delightful! The pub where we got our drinks is exactly how I pictured an English pub, so be sure to stop into the Rose & Crown.

Last step was Canada. We barely made it before the light show started, but we managed to get a Labatt’s Blue. Great Canadian Beer, and I have fond memories of it before I was legal, so I managed slightly more than a few sips.

In Canada, we ran into these delightful French guys, who actually work at Epcot, in France as I’m sure you’d guess. They were hammered, had amazing accents, and hit it off with my cousin. Their immediate friendship led to them buying shots for Ben, who had done beautifully until then. The rest of the night was spent trying to keep him out of trouble. All that aside, French guys are fun!

Our trip around Epcot was pricey, but Tony and I offset the cost by sharing drinks. These drinks were mostly purchased at stands you’ll see just walking through. It was a lot of fun and we’re all looking forward to another drinking game on our next trip. Suggestions?

This Crazy Life

Normally during the summer, I’m good about blogging. This year however has been crazy.

Aside from my normal 40 hours at Wal-Mart, I’ve also picked up a second job, teaching kickboxing at the dojo where my son takes karate. It’s usually two or three nights a week, but covering vacations has added a lot of extra days. We also took an early trip, immediately after school let out, to visit the in-laws in NY and pick up my husband’s new parts truck to bring home. We were only there four days, then came back for Chiara’s dance recital.

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The recital, her first, was amazing. She loved dancing on stage!

Two weeks later was Tony and I’s 10th anniversary. Hard to believe it’s been 10 years already, but it’s been a great decade. We celebrated with our friends Jenna and Alan, who were celebrating five years married, by going to see Phantom of the Opera at Playhouse Square. A very grown-up night out, and it was fabulous.

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Dressing up for a night out doesn’t happen very often, so it’s fun when it happens!

The next weekend was the Brunswick Summer Celebration and 4th of July. This means a day of fair food, rides for the kids, fireworks and a parade. It’s a big hit with the kids every year, and this year was no exception.20160702_170746

Chiara’s favorite ride is the ferris wheel, which she rode many times!

Weekend after that, our summer was scheduled weekend by weekend, was another book signing in Boonsboro, MD. My geocaching buddy, Mark, went with me on the five hour drive to meet Nora Roberts, again, and get more geocaches. He especially enjoyed visiting Antietam. The battlefield was amazing to see.

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This is Sunken Road, where 2,200 soldiers died over a few hours on the bloodiest day of the Civil War.

Arthur had an early belt testing at karate because he was going to be out of town for the scheduled belt testing, he earned his blue belt. Then my parents came to town for a long weekend, mainly to take care of vehicle registration, then they went home, taking my kids with them.

You would think that things would slow down with the kids out of town, but the following weekend, I received word that my Aunt died of a brain aneurysm. Sudden, out of the blue, and beyond shocking. This meant a trip to KY for a funeral, home for a week, then off again on our scheduled vacation.

Disney was a fun filled week, which is going to be it’s own series of blogs, but now we’re home, and school starts tomorrow. *sigh* We’ve never had such a busy summer!

Travel Doodle Kit

Chiara has been so insistent that I make her a “mint kit”, ever since I made Arthur’s Lego Kit. So I browsed around on this amazing site until I found the perfect one. 

My little girl is an artist at heart. She is constantly drawing or painting, so I knew a travel doodle kit was perfect!

All you need is an Altoids tin, crayons and a post-it pad, or two. I was arguing with myself about buying new crayons, but I decided to, even though I have a huge bag of old crayons. She can at least start out with fresh ones. The post-it pad was hardest to acquire. I was hoping to find one pad, but ended up finding a 4-pack of small ones. Two pads fit at a time which gives her color options.

Another positive part of this is while you’re traveling, the post-its can be stuck to the door of the vehicle while traveling, but easily removed later. Much easier than stickers anyway! She’s already started doodling on her notepads, so happy to have her own kit.

Simple, fun and ready for summer road trips! 

Lego Kit

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My son saw this on one of my Pinterest boards and latched on to the idea. He is a Lego fanatic, and this was “an amazing thing” that had to be done!

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Start simple with an Altoids tin and a flat base Lego piece. I used hot glue to attach it.

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Then you let your kid(s) pick the pieces they want in their kit. Super simple, but such a great idea!

The idea came from this site which I know I’ll be pulling other ideas from!

This little kit is perfect to take to restaurants or anyplace you may be stuck cooling your heels. It gives your little master builder something to do that has the side benefit of keeping them quiet. All that in a little, pocket sized tin? Yes please!

Phantom of the Opera at Playhouse Square

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Last night Tony and I went out with our friends Alan and Jenna to see Phantom of the Opera. They were celebrating five years of marriage and we were celebrating ten years, which was actually on the tenth of this month. We had a fantastic night planned, dinner out, then right across the street to the State Theater.

I actually didn’t realize until recently that Playhouse Square was made up of several theaters, all on one stretch. It’s an amazing setup!

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A fun thing about plays, both of them that I’ve been to now, is the wide variety of people you’ll see. From the amazingly stylish couple above (aren’t we cute?) to a punk rock couple I saw, including platform boots, chains and a six inch mohawk.

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The seats we had were fantastic, up in the mezzanine, which afforded us a great view of the entire stage.

Even though I’ve never seen a live performance of this show, I feel like I knew every line, I definitely knew all the lyrics of the songs! The performers were amazing, bringing the story to life before our eyes.

I think the most shocking part of this show was the special effects. From the chandelier lighting at the very beginning, to our first visit to the Phantom’s lair, continuing to the chandelier falling just before the intermission, all I can say is wow! The set design itself was fantastic, with beautiful backgrounds. The work they had to have put into each one is amazing, especially considering the different performances put on within the show itself.

The pyrotechnics were very shocking too! Almost blinding at some points. You’re in a darkened theater, then suddenly the candles on stage flare up to 5 feet high, very bright as well! There was a scene with a gunshot too, Tony and I both jumped.

The website said they had made some updates to the show itself, but all I saw was the show I loved with amazing effects!

If you have the chance to see this show, take it! It’s a classic that has only been made better!

Nebula Jar

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This craft was, sadly, a bust. We tried it twice, referencing two sites, but Chiara and I had to give up after neither one worked.

The steps are simple enough, you need:
•a jar
•acrylic paint
•cotton balls
•glitter
•water

We started by putting some water in the bottom of the jar, adding some paint in your chosen color and stir them together. Add some glitter after the paint is well mixed.

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Once the glitter has been stirred into the paint mixture, add some cotton balls that you’ve stretched out a bit. You want enough cotton balls to soak up all of the liquid.

After all the liquid has been absorbed, add some more water and another color of paint. This is where we ran into trouble because the water kept pulling color from the cotton balls below. We kept going though, adding more glitter, then the cotton balls. We did one more color, using blue, red and purple altogether, to get the finished product above.

We may or may not try this again at a later date, but so far, unimpressed.

Sad day for crafting. Sorry guys!😦