Soda (Pop) Can Caddy


I actually saw this awesome video on a Facebook link, and had to try this quickly. After all, the supplies needed for this can be found in almost every home in America.
•6 soda (pop) cans
•hot glue gun and glue
•hole punch
•wire or pipe cleaner
•manual can opener


I love what Coke and Sprite have going on right now with their cans. Coke has fun words describing people, things like “Legend”, “Superstar” and “Dreamer”. Sprite just recently started with quotes from songs (at least I think they’re song lyrics).


This next step absolutely blew my mind! You take any manual can opener, although I have met people who don’t know how to use them, and run it around the edge, like any other can, and you will be left with a perfectly smooth – edged, open can.


Next step is to take your hot glue gun and attach the cans to each other, keeping the words or quotes facing outward.


I had a bit of an issue keeping the cans perfectly squared up, but I never claimed to be perfect!


Next step requires your hole punch and wire. The original pin only had four cans with holes punched, but I wanted a little more reinforcement. I punched holes across from each other on all six cans, this let me thread the wire through them all, criss-crossing the wire like shoelaces. Then I just doubled up a longer strand of wire and made myself a handle.

It was a quick project, and it was funny because Tony was just as amazed as I was by the smoothness left behind by the can opener!

This would be a nice addition to your summer barbecue or picnic, so get crafting!

Fili and Kili


How many of you have seen The Hobbit trilogy? It’s amazing! If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it! The world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is vast, rich in both detail and history, making all of us long for a chance to visit Middle Earth. Preferably after Sauron has been defeated anyway!

One of the most amazing things about this works, at least from my perspective, is the characters and the relationships they form with each other. While there are love interests, Aragorn and Arwen, Kili and Tauriel, most of the relationships in these stories are those of family and friendship. In particular, I’d like to talk about Fili and Kili.

These are two brother dwarves, they are part of Thorin Oakenshield’s company, on a quest to reclaim their home of Erebor. They are descendants of the house of Durin, Thorin’s nephews.


When we first meet these brothers, it is at the home of Bilbo Baggins, during Gandalf’s arranged party. I love this picture because it shows Fili, completely confident, ready to do what comes next. Kili on the other hand looks almost nervous, which we quickly learn is not his default. He’s usually self assured and ready with a joke.

Kili was a personal favorite of mine, partially because of his love of Tauriel, but mostly because of his upbeat attitude. Even when locked in an elvish prison, he’s making jokes and flirting. Fili is a little less in the forefront of the movies, but he is a steady presence, always there for the others in the company and especially his brother.


When the company arrives in Laketown, Kili is deathly ill after being hit with a poisoned arrow. Even though they are so near their destination, the home of their ancestors, Erebor, Fili refuses to leave his brother.


Then here we have one of there last moments together.


On Ravenhill, where Thorin has brought his best fighters, including the brothers, to hopefully kill their enemy, they’re still a team. They are ready to face whatever danger there may be together. I was devastated when Fili was killed, his body tossed to the ground like it was nothing. Seeing his brother dead, Kili leaps into a fight he can’t hope to win alone.
Luckily he is not alone, Thorin and Dwalin joining the fray, along with Tauriel and Legolas. Of course Mr. Tolkien and Mr. Jackson give us enough hope, so much that we think he may survive, only to have us see him die, right before Tauriel’s eyes.
The only solace I can take from this if that he would not want to live on in a world without his brother. Even with Tauriel’s love, he would have mourned the rest of his life.


So many books or movies today focus strongly on love stories, there are of course exceptions (Harry Potter), but being so rare, it makes these tales so much more endearing. Out lives, after all, are not strictly about romantic love. Or lives are the sum of all the love we have, from that we feel for our parents, love of siblings and friends. Romantic love should be important, but not all. Fili and Kili are the perfect example of how love can be all consuming without being romantic. Would you be willing to die for your brother (or sister)?

Father’s Day Gift


This is a super simple gift for daddy. I found this idea on Pinterest and I figured it would suit Tony to the ground!
All you need for this is a plain craft frame, available at any craft store or Walmart. The one I used was only $.98. You can’t beat that! I was lucky enough to find this carbon fiber looking duct tape at Walmart too.
All you do it layer the duct tape over the frame in whatever pattern you like. For the word part, I used a piece of my scrapbooking paper to write

Daddy & Duct Tape keep this family together.

I used basic grey duct tape to make the little X in the middle.
Tony loved it and it now has a place of honor on the shelf above his desk.
Simple and cute? Check! Simple gift for dad? Check!
Happy Father’s Day guys!

Inside Out


Unsurprisingly, Pixar has done it again. They’ve created a world inside our own that is funny, entertaining and pulls at the heartstrings. My family and I went to see Inside Out today, opening day, as the kids and I were very excited to see it!

The story begins when Riley is born. A cute baby girl, and inside her head, we’re introduced to Joy, an emotion. Joy lives in Headquarters, inside Riley’s head. Joy sees what Riley sees and, when pressing a button on the console, allows Riley to feel joy. Joy is immediately joined by Sadness, who, when pressing the button in the console, causes Riley to feel, you guessed it, sad.

As Riley grows, other emotions move into Headquarters, Anger, Fear and Disgust. All of the emotions are important to a person, Fear helping to keep Riley safe, Anger helping Riley be assertive and Disgust helps to keep Riley healthy (you don’t want to eat food off the floor, eew!) Joy has come to realize that all the emotions are important, but she doesn’t understand the point of Sadness.

Shortly after the movie starts, Riley’s family is moving across the country to San Francisco. All of the emotions are upset, except for Joy, who is determined to stay positive.

Sadness begins to touch memories that were once happy, like Riley playing with her best friend, causing a happy memory to turn sad. Joy doesn’t understand why they stay sad and begins limiting Sadness’s access to different parts of Headquarters. As usual, when limits are placed, they have to be broken. Sadness tries to access the Core Memories, specific memories that power Riley’s Islands of Personality. Some of Riley’s Islands include Family Island, Friendship Island and Goofball Island. These Islands help shape Riley’s personality, making Riley Riley. When Joy tries to stop Sadness, Joy, Sadness and all of the Core Memories are sucked out of Headquarters and into a different part of Riley’s mind.

This leaves Joy in charge of getting them back to Headquarters before Fear, Anger and Disgust can cause too much damage. As they’re trying to make their way back to Headquarters, they’re forced to watch as the Islands of Personality begin crumbling into the Memory Dump, where forgotten things go.

They enlist the help of Riley’s former imaginary friend Bing Bong, and Joy tries to leave Sadness behind, still not understanding her purpose. Joy and Bing Bong end up in the Memory Dump and nothing comes back from the Memory Dump.

This movie had a great deal more feeling (ha) than I was expecting. I found tears forming when Joy begins to understand the importance of Sadness. None of us can only exist with one emotion ruling us. Without Sadness, would we really appreciate the Joy?

The kids enjoyed the movie and Tony even admitted that it was a good movie. He is a little more discerning than I am. Don’t think it’s all sad either, especially at the end, we’re allowed a look inside other people’s Headquarters. If that doesn’t make you laugh, you may actually be dead inside.

Happy viewing all!

Jurassic World


Yesterday was opening day for Jurassic World. Not that opening days are strictly enforced anymore, with showings for this movie starting as early as 8pm on Thursday. Given my new third shift schedule, we went to the earliest showing on Friday morning and I was a little surprised at how many kids were there. I had expected some dirty looks for bringing my kids, but while Chiara may have been the youngest I saw, no one looked twice!

For those who don’t already know, the premise behind this latest edition in the Jurassic saga, is that the theme park, Jurassic World, has been open for a decade. Like any theme park, every few years, a new attraction needs added to keep interest high. The latest addition of Indominus Rex. I love how this movie pokes fun at consumerism. When looking for sponsors for this new exhibit, we end up with “Verizon presents Indominus Rex”. Then we have a slap at how we name things based on sponsorship, especially stadiums. This was especially amusing since all of the Cleveland arenas were renamed after their sponsor.
Jacob’s Field 》Progressive Field
Gund Arena 》Quicken Loans Arena

The kids in this story, because you can’t have a Jurassic story without kids in trouble, are visiting their aunt, who runs the park. Of course with a new exhibit opening soon she doesn’t have a lot of time for the kids and has her assistant escorting them around.

We are also introduced to Owen, who is training Velociraptors to obey commands. I won’t lie to you, this is the main reason I wanted to see this movie! I love raptors! They’re quick and cunning, work together like a team and just don’t seem to have any weaknesses, like a T-rex’s arms. I was pleasantly surprised that these raptors are far from tame and very much still wild animals. I’m always a little upset when people think wild animals are great pets, not realizing they will always be dangerous. Nothing like a raptor to drive that point home!

Bad things start happening, of course, with the Indominus Rex, because you should never expect good things when messing with genetics. This dinosaur is a stew of different genomes, giving her all sorts of abilities that she shouldn’t have. As far as I can tell the only thing this dinosaur couldn’t do was fly. The battle to take her down was epic, probably a little more epic than anything in the dinosaur age, but I was definitely on the edge of my seat.

I think my favorite thing about Jurassic World is that it I was still able to be surprised by it. I have been watching Jurassic movies since the release of Jurassic Park when I was eight, so dinosaurs don’t scare me. I was constantly awed, both by how the never-before-seen dinosaurs were presented and the suddenness of the action. Even when Indominus first gets out, you see it coming, but you’re very startled when it actually happens!

Whether you see it in theaters or wait till the at home release, if you were a fan of the original trilogy, you will love this new chapter.

Keep calm and watch the dinosaurs folks!

Quickshine for your Floors


It’s been a little while since I’ve done a product plug, but I am amazed by the results of this, so of course I have to share my experience!
I originally saw an advertisement for this while browsing different Pinterest links, and thought, why not? My house is primarily hardwood floors, and I love it because it is easier to clean than carpet. The worst I get is clumps of pet hair that need vacuumed or swept up, but that’s the price I pay for owning a menagerie!
The only complaint I have is that the floors are old and worn, desperately in need of refinishing. However with kids and pets, it’s tough to find the time and money to do it. Aside from the fact that the pets and kids would have to be cleared out of the house while the floor seals dry. Not an easy task to do!


This is by far the worst part of my floor. This is right after a mopping with my trusty Murphy’s Oil. No shine left to this part, right outside my kitchen and the main walkway towards the side room and garage. It gets a lot of human and pet traffic.


This is the same section of floor after 3 coats of Quickshine! You sweep and regular mop your floor and remember to let it dry COMPLETELY!


If your floor is a little wet, you’ll end up like this sad section next to my front door, looking like it’s peeling.
After your floor is all the way dry, spray some Quickshine in an S-shape and use a microfiber cloth to spread it evenly over your floor. Use caution in your pattern though because you should let it sit for 30 minutes before walking on it. It’ll be good after 20 minutes, thank you Zuko for showing me, but the company does recommend 30.


This picture shows a better contrast of before and after. Right beside my shoes and the table leg was mopped only, but the shiny spots have two layers of Quickshine.
I also picked up a multi surface Quickshine, but haven’t tested it yet. I’m hoping it’ll give new life to my linoleum kitchen floors!
I’ve been informed Walmart carries the multi surface version, although my store didn’t carry it. The hardwood version I found at Home Depot.
Shine on everyone, shine on!

Foam Dough


Two simple and common ingredients and one horrible mess! The kids did enjoy playing with it, after all, kids love a good mess, but I don’t see us playing with this stuff again.


Start by taking equal parts cornstarch and shaving cream. This gave me a chance to use my Jurassic World shaving cream leftover from the marbled butterflies we made last week.
I started with 1 cup cornstarch and 1 cup shaving cream. I ended up adding almost another full cup of shaving cream to get a good texture.


It’s texture is very similar to the moon sand that was advertised all over TV a few years ago. It’s very crumbly…..


…. but it packs together very well.


I added some red and blue food coloring to different piles to give some color. Am I the only one who feels this looks like blood? Anyway…..


We spent quite a bit of time forming walls with the foam dough. Unfortunately I don’t have any molds to use for this, but they enjoyed it.
The mess wasn’t hard to clean up, but it was everywhere. It fell off the edge of the table, mashed into the table, all over their hands! Ugh! It wiped clean and you can vacuum it if necessary, but I’ll take play dough any day over this stuff!
Original pin can be found here.