May 292015
Seattle Art Museum - photo by David Herrera

Seattle Art Museum – photo by David Herrera

Summer is almost here, and with it comes the chance to visit some of our region’s many great museums. The Seattle area is full of museums, from big to small, covering a wide range of subjects or just one in great detail. Take some time to check out this list – maybe you’ll be reminded of an old favorite or find somewhere new to explore! Something to remember is many of these museums offer free admission on the first Thursday of each month – check the websites for details, but do know they’ll be much busier on these free days.

Transportation Museums

Museum of Flight | Seattle

Future of Flight Museum and Boeing Factory Tour | Mukilteo

Flying Heritage Collection | Everett

McChord Air Museum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord | Tacoma

Olympic Flight Museum | Olympia

LeMay America’s Car Museum | Tacoma

Northwest Railway Museum | Snoqualmie

Bellingham Railway Museum | Bellingham

Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center | Seattle

Bellingham Maritime Museum | Bellingham

Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum | Kent

Foss Waterway Seaport | Tacoma

Puget Sound Navy Museum | Bremerton

Naval Undersea Museum | Keyport

Children’s Museums

Seattle Children’s Museum | Seattle

KidsQuest Museum | Bellevue

Imagine Children’s Museum | Everett

Children’s Museum of Tacoma | Tacoma

Children’s Museum of Skagit County | Burlington

Kids Discovery Museum | Bainbridge Island

Hands On Children’s Museum | Olympia

Discovery Village | Gig Harbor

Art Museums

Seattle Art Museum | Seattle

Henry Art Gallery | Seattle

Frye Art Museum | Seattle

Bellevue Arts Museum | Bellevue

Museum of Glass | Tacoma

Tacoma Art Museum | Tacoma

Chihuly Garden and Glass | Seattle

Whatcom Museum | Bellingham

Science & History Museums

Pacific Science Center | Seattle

Burke Museum | Seattle

Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) | Seattle

Experience Music Project Museum | Seattle

Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park | Seattle

Last Resort Fire Department Museum | Seattle

Washington State History Museum | Tacoma

SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention | Bellingham

Camlann Medieval Village | Carnation

Pioneer Farm Museum | Eatonville

Cultural Museums

Hibulb Cultural Center | Tulalip

Native American Cultural Center for Indians of All Tribes (Daybreak Star Center) | Seattle

Nordic Heritage Museum | Seattle

Northwest African American Museum | Seattle

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience | Seattle


I’m always looking for somewhere new to explore, so if I’ve missed one of your favorite museums, drop me a comment and let me know!

 Posted by at 11:21 pm

Happy Super Pi Day

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Mar 142015
Happy Super Pi Day!

Happy Super Pi Day!

I think it’s fun to mark the occasion of certain silly ‘holidays’, don’t you? Who can resist giving an “Aarrgh” on Talk Like a Pirate Day? Pi Day is the same way – you must eat pie on March 14th! Here’s our Pi Day pie – individual chicken pot pies with a creamy chicken filling and a puff pastry crust.

 Posted by at 9:26 am

Happy New Year!

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Jan 012015

happy new year 2015

Wishing for you the best year yet! We spent last night with the kids and a 2015 countdown – they had envelopes to open at certain times with fun activities – we went out to dinner, had a sundae bar, played party games and board games, and everyone still managed to fall asleep by 11:30pm! Ah well, at least we’re rested today. Happy New Year!

 Posted by at 1:50 pm
Aug 182014

letting go of perfection

I learned an important lesson today, about perfection and how important it isn’t. I was working on a project (that might make it’s way onto this site soon) and part of it involved painting straight lines. My daughter really wanted to help, but I really wanted it to be perfect. A lot of people were going see it and my pride was definitely in the way – I knew that her lines wouldn’t be that straight. I didn’t want to quash her desire to help though, so I told her I’d do the edges and she could fill in the middle, and of course even then the edges got painted over, drips got onto other parts of the fabric and it was anything but perfect.

As we painted together, I managed to keep my inner perfectionist in check and didn’t say anything about the ‘mistakes’ and you know what? The project turned out great. It will do its job of blocking the wind, it will look cuter than it would without being painted and best of all it’s a project we did together that we can both be proud of – and that’s better than perfection any day.

 Posted by at 6:03 pm

A World Cup Menu and a World Cup Playlist

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Jun 172014

The World Cup is here! The World Cup is here! I almost never watch soccer but I absolutely adore the World Cup. There’s just something about the passion from around the world that is so fun – all of the drama (stunning upsets, inspiring Cinderella teams – looking at you Costa Rica) of the NCAA basketball tournament and the national pride of the Olympic games. This year the World Cup is in Brazil and since Brazil is basically synonymous with futbol (soccer) all of the excitement is even more heightened.

feijoada, kale and white rice from a world cup dinner and world cup playlist

In order to celebrate the opening match, we had a special Brazilian meal for dinner and a special world cup playlist to go with it. Our dinner was feijoada, white rice, sauteed kale and fried yucca.

a photo collage with ingredients for the feijoada; kale sauteing; and fried yucca.

Ingredients for the feijoada; kale sauteing; and fried yucca.

Of course a brazilian celebration wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of Cachaca:

a bottle of brazilian cachaca to accompany the world cup dinner and world cup playlist

Finally, you can’t skip the music if you want to set a mood. Here’s my World Cup playlist – first don’t even think about that terrible Pitbull/J.Lo world cup song – seriously, don’t even go look it up if you haven’t heard it, it’s awful. I like to start off with some of the better world cup songs from the FIFA World Cup Official Album

La La La – Shakira     iTunes | Amazon

Vida – Ricky Martin     iTunes | Amazon

Lepo Lepo – Psirico      iTunes | Amazon

Next comes a few ‘unofficial’ world cup songs, including one “Todo Mundo” that is Coca-Cola’s World Cup song (and that I think is one of the best of the bunch – Coke has a way of picking great songs (see “Waving Flag” from the 2010 Cup).

Todo Mundo (feat. David Correy) – Monobloco and Gaby Amarantos     iTunes | Amazon

País do Futebol (feat. Emicida) – MC Guime     iTunes | Amazon

Golea Brasil en Fiesta – Dacelys & DJ Papi Electric     iTunes | Amazon

Then add some classic music from some of the superstars of Brazil:

Mais Que Nada – Sergio Mendes     iTunes | Amazon

Magalenha – Sergio Mendes     iTunes | Amazon

Quem Mandou (Pe Na Estrada) – Gilberto Gil & Jorge Ben     iTunes | Amazon

Finish the mix off with these songs to get your hips moving and your face smiling:

Piradinha – Gabriel Valim     iTunes | Amazon

Show das Poderosas – Anitta     iTunes | Amazon

(Disclosure: Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission and I am very grateful for your support of this site. Thank you!)world cup playlist

I’m sharing this post at some of these great link parties – check ‘em out!

 Posted by at 11:38 am
Jun 172013
Of course after I took this picture I added five more things to the list.

Happy Monday y’all! I’ve got a busy week ahead so I sat down this morning to write out a to-do list (no fancy printable to-do list for me – its the back of a junk-mail envelope because c’mon) and it’s long. Holy cow is it long. It’s the last week of school which means there’s end of the year things to do, and beginning of summer things to do, and we’re heading right into the midst of birthday party season so that means gifts to buy . . . plus the usual household chores. I think I might have felt better before it was all written down.

May 142013

Summer’s almost here, and it’s about this time that I start thinking about what to do with the kids during those long summer weekdays. Of course there are always the basics – go to a park, or the beach or play in the yard – but I like to come up with ideas that can enhance and extend learning throughout the summertime. Here are twenty ideas I’ll be drawing from this summer when the excitement of summer vacation wears off and the chorus of “I’m booorrreed” starts up.

1. Plant vegetable seeds and watch them grow. Even a little pot on a windowsill will let your kids plant and observe the seeds and take ownership of their care (keep the soil moist, kid!).

2. Go to a u-pick farm and pick fruit, then eat it fresh or make jam to enjoy after summer’s done. Talk about how the farmer plants seeds, tends the crops and harvests the fruit.

3. Go to the local zoo, but first research one animal with the kids beforehand. Once you’re at the zoo observe the animal you researched, then pick another animal to research from the one of the others you’ve seen.

4. Start a field journal for your own backyard or neighborhood. Help your kids to record observations of weather, animals and plants. For littler kids add printables of birds or animals you know they’ll see and let them check them off when they spot them.

5. Have a reading contest for the summer with a big chart and stickers, or join your local library’s reading challenge.

6. Be playground explorers. Visit a brand new (to you) playground once a week, play on it and rate it with the kids. Pretend to be reviewers – let your kids take pictures of the parts they liked the most.

7. Lots of towns have kids music concert series’ in the summer – check out the chamber of commerce for towns around you to see what’s available.

8. Go to the local, county or state fair. Check to see if there are children’s art contests, baking, canning or craft contests and see if your little ones would like to participate. Before or after your trip to the fair set up a midway in the backyard with carnival games and little prizes.

9. Go camping, either in the yard or somewhere farther afield.

10. Stay up late and watch a meteor shower (the Perseid shower August 11-13th is the largest of the summer with the potential for 50 meteors per hour). Spot constellations and satellites (you can even look up which satellite you’ve spotted via NASA).

11. If you leave near the seashore or are visiting there this summer, check the local tide tables and go out to the beach during a very low tide to search for starfish and anemones.

12. Have a water fight with the kids – either kids against adults or mixed teams. Kids love it when their parents get in on the fun.

13. Have a nature scavenger hunt at the park or beach. Ask kids to find pine cones, leaves, a curly stick, a white rock or other natural objects.

14. Have one day with themed lunches or dinners each week. You could do a different country each week, or state, or pick a color and plan the meal around that. Give the kids lots of input on the menu and food prep, or if they’re older let them handle the whole meal themselves.

15. Visit a farmer’s market – give your kids grocery money and let them pick the ingredients for a meal or picnic.

16. Let your kids dictate the day – go on a day trip or short overnight road trip – decide how far you’re willing to drive that day, then draw a circle on a road map with that diameter and let the kids pick a spot on the map to visit – depending on the kids’ ages you could do just 20 miles, or 50, or 100. You can print out your map online for free, or if you’re a member of AAA you can get free maps from them as well.

17. Organize a canned food or pet food drive – charitable giving often drops off in the summer months so you could help a local charity by organizing a food drive. Host a play date in the backyard or a park and ask all the guests to bring some food to donate.

18. Leave parks or the beach cleaner than when you got there – keep a few trash bags and work gloves or disposable gloves in the car and pick up some trash before you go. Of course use common sense – pick up ‘clean’ trash only.

19. Put together a park/beach kit and keep it in the trunk of your car – then stop spontaneously to play as often as you can. I like to keep some buckets/shovels/sandtoys, balls, a beach blanket and sidewalk chalk.

20. Make fish prints. Catch a fish (or buy a whole fish at the grocery store) and use it to make fish prints. Warning! This is a messy project that’s better done outside. Lay the fish on a tray, dry it off well with paper towels, then let your child apply paint to one side of the fish (I like to use fabric paint mixed with some extender). Once the fish is covered with paint, lay a piece of fabric (or paper) onto the fish and press down lightly on the back. Carefully pull up the fabric and set it aside to dry. DON’T EAT THE FISH afterwards!

I’d love to hear about some of the things you’re planning to do with your kids this summer. If you’ve done any of these with your family before, please leave me a comment and let me know how it went!

I’m sharing this post at some of these great link parties – check ’em out!

What A Sad Day

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Apr 162013

I was all set to write a post about a Kindle cover I made this weekend but I can’t seem to concentrate on it now. All I can think of is the senselessness of the Boston bombing – my heart goes out to all those who were there. Just love on your babies and families tonight all!

 Posted by at 4:09 am