Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Make a Butterfly Feeder

Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List: Make a Butterfly Feeder

How to make a butterfly feeder:
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List: Make a Butterfly Feeder
You'll need -
  •  a plate
  • a wire plate holder (3 bucks at Home Depot)
  • string
  • things that attract butterflies such as fake flowers, and shiny beads
  • little metal washer or clip, or something similar
  • hot glue
  • sponge
  • butterfly food >>> sugar & water
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List: Make a Butterfly Feeder
Slide your plate holder onto your plate. Tie equal lengths of string to each hook end on the wire holder. And then tie all four strings onto your washer or clip. The idea is to use the washer or clip to hang it somewhere outside, such as a branch.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List: Make a Butterfly Feeder
Attach butterfly attractants to the string with hot glue.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List: Make a Butterfly Feeder
I found the dining room chandelier to be the perfect spot to hang the feeder while I hot glued. Aria helped string the beads and pulled apart the fake flowers, but I did the hot gluing.

Place the sponge on your plate.

Make your butterfly food by heating 9 parts water to 1 part sugar in a little pot until the sugar dissolves and then let cool.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List: Make a Butterfly Feeder
Find a spot to hang the butterfly feeder. We happened to have this hanging plant hook laying around. Aria picked a spot to shove it into the ground and then we hooked up the feeder.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List: Make a Butterfly Feeder
Take your cooled sugar water and squirt in onto the sponge until it is saturated.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List: Make a Butterfly Feeder
Check back daily to add more sugar water and hopefully catch a glimpse of some butterflies.

We've only seen a single butterfly flying around it, but it has also been pouring all the live long days. It is really nice to spot the pop of pink from our dining room though. And, Aria enjoys making and squirting the butterfly food.

For the rest of our Summer Bucket List click here!
 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Disney Trip #14 - Summer Bucket List: Try Something New at Disney

Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #14 - Summer Bucket List: Try Something New at Disney
I've been looking forward to checking 'try something new at Disney' off of the Summer Bucket List from the very start. Many ideas were proposed - hopefully some we will get to tackle another time. And, in the end we decided to go with Hollywood Studios' Frozen Summer Fun. What gave that particular new thing the edge was that the other night we had a family movie night. We pulled out every toddler friendly movie in the house and Aria picked Frozen. Again. For the 4,000th time. You can't fight the Frozen craze apparently. It is also only happening for a limited time, so if not now then maybe not ever.

Plus, we hadn't been back to Hollywood Studios for over a year.

So, I read up on all the different Frozen extras, made a list of all the new things we could try (that I forgot at home), and off we went.

We opted for heading over to Disney around midday so that Aria could get a nap in on the drive and hopefully we'd make it until the fireworks that night.

First we stopped at Disney Springs for lunch. And, in the spirit of trying new things we went to Cooke's of Dublin. Kind of like the quick service Raglan Road. Aria and I shared a basket of fish and chips along with a raspberry lemon parfait. Both delicious.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #14 - Summer Bucket List: Try Something New at Disney

Then we arrived at Hollywood Studios and made our way over to the Disney Jr section, which is another new thing for us. Last time Aria hadn't been into watching any of the shows so we didn't see a point. This time though Aria knew exactly who we were going to meet. Doc took a 3 minute break while we were in line and she kept asking 'where did Doc go?'. She got to meet both Doc and Jake. She went right up to them all by herself (we weren't sure if she would be brave enough), but she was pretty quiet about the whole thing. However, she was all smiles as she walked away. 
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #14 - Summer Bucket List: Try Something New at Disney
Afternoon in summer at Disney in line...Aria just kind of melted onto Jake and just stayed that way for a very long time ha. Awkward. I finally told her she could stand up. Jake gave her a nose kiss and then signed 'I love you' so that was sweet. Most of the kids in front of us just wanted the autograph and a picture, but since we aren't into autographs Aria got a lot of interaction with the characters.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #14 - Summer Bucket List: Try Something New at Disney
We couldn't squeeze in a visit to Sofia although Aria did get to see her walk past a couple times because we had a fastpass for the Disney Jr. stage show.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #14 - Summer Bucket List: Try Something New at Disney
You sit on the floor at this stage show. You know what it smells like? Sweaty feet and diapers. The characters are also rather small puppets...the kind that are operated from beneath by a person. It was odd in my opinion because the show is elevated a bit and you are on the floor which makes it hard to see. Aria, however, just enjoyed the heck right out of it.

As we were leaving it started to rain and it only rained more as the day continued, so the rest of the visit was only captured on video.

Something else new we'd never tried was the seasonal milkshake you can get from Min & Bill's Dockside Diner. I was under the impression that the current one was a churro milkshake, which sounds amazing, but what I got was a blue milkshake with enough whipped cream to swim in. I'm not sure what it was supposed to be but it tasted like vanilla to me. It was good, but I was really looking forward to that churro milkshake...

Next we had a fastpass for Toy Story Midway Mania, which Chris and I had done before but Aria had not. So half of a check? I accidentally pulled the lap bar down on myself and Aria a wee bit too tightly and could hardly breath, but apart from that it's such a fun arcade type ride. I aimed and Aria pulled the trigger, and at the end she wanted to go again! But, I think the line was somewhere around 2 hours so that wasn't happening.

I had wanted to let Aria run around the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play set, but it was closed from the rain. So instead we ate the food I packed us and sat inside away from the rain until our Frozen Sing-Along Celebration fastpass. What I didn't notice was that it started to pour while we were eating and we were drenched by the time we ran to the sing-along theater. Fortunately the line is under cover. Unfortunately Aria picked that as the perfect time to take a poo. Sorry kid there was no getting out of line at that point.

The sing-along is almost all of the songs from the movie with 'historians', Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff. It was fabulous. Aria was mesmerized the whole time, and when it snowed at the end she thought it was the bee's knees. Totally worth the soaking.

Sadly it was still pouring after the show so we decided to cut our losses and made a run back to the car - where Aria got changed into nice dry pajamas for the snooze home while Chris and I drove home in wet underwear for 2 hours. Just as delightful as it sounds.

Not our most successful Disney trip. We missed out on the outside stage shows because they were canceled due to the rain. We missed the Frozen welcome parade because we opted to arrive later in the day to see the fireworks, which were probably canceled because of the rain as well. And, I'm still pining for that churro milkshake.

But, the magic of Aria meeting some of her favorite Disney Jr characters and getting to see the Frozen Sing-Along made the rest inconsequential.

Am I ready to go back to Hollywood Studios anytime soon? No. But, I am excited for the new areas that were just announced - Toy Story land and Star Wars land.

Fingers crossed our next trip is much less wet.

And, as usual here is our video from the trip!


For the rest of our Summer Bucket List click here!

Have a magical weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge - final check in & giveaway!

Stephanie, Elizabeth, and I are back today for the last check in for our Summer Reading Challenge - 12 books in 12 weeks. I can't believe it has been 12 weeks already. I also can't believe next month officially starts fall...hooray!

Let's start this thing off with the giveaway.

Remember you need to have participated in the challenge as well as linked up at least once to be eligible for the giveaway.

So, what are we giving away?

One winner will receive:
- A $10 Starbucks gift card
- A Children's Traveling Color Pad with Crayons
- The book Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle

All you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now onto the books!

If you recall, last week Aria finished off her 12 books so we made a new goal of crossing off all of the categories.

Did we manage?

Yes we did!
favorite toddler books, children's books
 And, here is our entire summer reading list:
favorite toddler books, children's books
favorite toddler books, children's books
*amazon affiliate links

1. Dragon's Extraordinary Egg - a dragon raises a baby penguin
2. Princess Bess Gets Dressed - Bess wears a lot of dresses but her favorite thing to wear is at the end
3. Blue Chameleon - a lonely chameleon trying to make a friend
4. Green Eggs and Ham - just eat the green eggs and ham already
5. Alphabet Soup - food poetry
6. Open Wide! - the dentist and his many animal patients
7. Demolition - lots of construction vehicles
8. The Spider and the Fly - darker tale about a spider tricking a fly
9. Little Red Hot - retelling of Little Red Riding Hood but with hot peppers
10. How to be a Cat - big on pictures small on words
11. Runaway Mummy - a parody of Runaway Bunny although I've never read the original
12. Sofia the First Princesses to the Rescue - the three princesses rescue their brothers and dads, with an appearance from Mulan
13. Little Critter & Clifford - childhood favorites that Aria has taken a fancy to as well
14. Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie - best friends planning a tea party...lots of sweets, tutus, and pink
15. Camp Rex - reads like a brochure for camping but the pictures are perfection
16. Ella Sets Sail - little girl keeps losing her hat and follows it on a little adventure
17. The Poky Little Puppy - the puppy is poky
18. Moose on the Loose - what would you do with a moose in your house?
19. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole - they dig a hole...but very whimsical story

These are all favorites for Aria, but my top three are...Runaway Mummy, Camp Rex, and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole! I've got thoughts of book activities for each running through my head. If you get the chance I definitely recommend checking them out.

Sweet Turtle Soup


And for the final time, let us know how your summer reading has been going by linking up below!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's the Little Things: Puddle Splashing

It rained and rained the other day, so much so that a little pond formed in the backyard. As soon as the rain let up a bit, Aria put on her raincoat and raced outside to investigate it for herself. She had an absolute blast running through the water and splashing her heart out. She played until she was soaked and covered in grass bits. Then we headed back to the porch to play in the hose. After that we popped back inside for a nice warm bubble bath. Nothing like an entire evening spent in the water, and a tired little lady at the end of the day.
Sweet Turtle Soup - It's the Little Things: Puddle Splashing
Sweet Turtle Soup - It's the Little Things: Puddle Splashing
Sweet Turtle Soup - It's the Little Things: Puddle Splashing
Sweet Turtle Soup - It's the Little Things: Puddle Splashing
Sweet Turtle Soup - It's the Little Things: Puddle Splashing
Sweet Turtle Soup - It's the Little Things: Puddle Splashing
Sweet Turtle Soup - It's the Little Things: Puddle Splashing
 
Linking up with Jess at Sadie Sky Boutique:
littlethingslogo

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

[Guest Post] Getting to Know Whitney from Work it Mommy

I have for you today a Q&A session with Whitney from Work it Mommy. I think I first saw Whitney around blog-land when she joined in on a blog gift exchange a while back, but since then she has become one of my favorite blog buddies. I enjoy following along with her blog and I love chatting with her via email. She is a sweet mom to two girls and just happens to love Disney. I also dig her pumpkin toddler/preschool activities. If you aren't already following her you should be, but first keep scrolling for our Q&A!

Thanks for guest posting for me today, Whitney!
[Guest Post] Getting to Know Whitney from Work it Mommy
[Guest Post] Getting to Know Whitney from Work it Mommy

Make sure to stop by her blog today, and tell her Courtney sent you!
Or, visit her on instagram | twitter