Monday, December 22, 2014

Salt Dough Ornament Craft

Salt Dough Ornament Crafts will make family night loads of fun.  Christmas is a very fun holiday for dusting off your rolling pin and the cookie cutters.  This season, my family and I made salt dough ornaments for our school classroom, family and friends.  If you are like me, then you will enjoy giving away these beautiful handmade gifts.  I feel that handmade gifts are made with love and help inspire others to love a little more.

We had lots of fun making this craft on a Saturday afternoon.  I have to say that I baked the ornaments ahead of time to make it more enjoyable.  I suggest you do the same to enjoy the painting part.  By the way, save this recipe for Valentine's day because you can use it to make heart shaped gifts for the ones you love.  Enjoy the holidays and share your love with these cute handmade ornaments.
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Ingredients


4 cups of flour
1 cup of Salt
1 ½ cups of warm water

Additional things you will need


Rolling pin
1 cup of flour for coating rolling pin
Cookie cutters
Cookie sheets
Paint, glitter, beads, decorations
Glue, clear polyurethane to preserve (optional)
Parchment paper
Unsharpened pencil to make a hole for hanging
Timer

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  1. Combine the flour, salt and water; mix well and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is workable.  Flour your rolling pin and surface where you will be rolling the dough.
  2. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets before placing the salt dough ornaments.
  3. Roll the dough on a flat  floured surface about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Using the cookie cutters, cut the dough into desired shapes.
  5. Make sure to use a pencil to make holes for hanging.
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Bake at 300 degrees F or 150 degrees C for approximately 30 minutes. Make sure you check 5 minutes before the timer goes off to make sure they don’t burn.  (You are looking for the dough to get hard. Some recipes call for 45 minutes to an hour. I only used 30 minutes and it was still okay.  If the dough rises and puffs up, then just push down with a flat hand and oven mitt to make the cookie flat again.
Allow for the ornaments to cool off before painting. (I waited until the next day to paint and decorate.)  Use colorful paints and glitter to make it a fun event.  Allow for the paint to dry and then preserve with clear polyurethane.
*It's optional to use the clear polyurethane.


I have received many handmade ornaments over the years that I still hang every year on our Christmas tree.  Some of these ornaments go back as far as 20 years ago from gift exchanges that I attended.  When I hang them on the tree, they bring back fond memories of fun moments I shared with my friends and family.  I hope this inspires you to make special memories with your family and friends.  Keep the love and compassion alive.  Happy Holidays to all of you from family and I. 

Merry Christmas!!! 

Handball and Dodgeball Birthday Party!

Handball and Dodgeball birthday party and one tournament for my December baby. Sports theme birthday party for boys is always a fun adventure to put on. Read the story of how it all came together through the eyes of Field Trip Dad.
It happened.  Our children are growing up fast.  Alma and I are running out of themes for birthday parties.  It is becoming difficult to plan a unique and creative event.  Over the last year or so, our kids have spiked and bounced their way through 3 rubber handballs, better known as a dodge ball.  Our boys play handball daily with their friends at school and it seems that the sport that my wife and I grew up with has re-emerged and morphed into an exciting game with plenty of new spins and a variety of added rules.  When we asked our son what kind of party he wanted, he quickly said, "Let's have a handball party."

In my search for information to create the over the top Bosek Family birthday party as we strive to do for our kids, I found it difficult to find anything on the sport.  There were no party wares, there were no rules, there were no other parties I could tailor to make my own.  So off we set on this field trip adventure to create the first known (or at least to our knowledge) "HANDBALL TOURNAMENT BIRTHDAY PARTY!"


handball birthday party photo handballparty_zps049c0cbe.jpg
 To get started, Alma and I had to do some research.  How old did I get to not know what a toilet bowl, a slicey, a pop and a bullet were!  These are the playground names of various ball strikes to win the game.  We took the kids over to a park near us with an outdoor racquetball court so we could play and learn the new terms.  There were many rules that the boys wanted to impose during the game, so Alma and I had to help set them.  Once we set the rules, the game ran smooth with no arguing and everyone knew when it was their turn to play and when they were out.  I quickly went home and wrote down the rules of play in terms the kids could understand.  I have added a link to this in a downloadable document that you can use for your next handball tournament.
HANDBALL RULES

1. NO TOILET BOWLS, SLICEYS, ETC. ON SERVE. THE BALL MUST BE HIT TO THE WALL WITH A SINGLE BOUNCE BY EACH PLAYER AND FOR EVERY TURN. NO RAINBOWS ALLOWED.

2. NEW INCOMING PLAYER SERVES.

3. 2NDBOUNCE, OUT OF BOUNDS, BULLETS, POPPIES, MISSING THE BALL, STOPPING THE BALL, HITTING THE BALL TWICE IN ONE TURN OR NOT RETURNING THE BALL TO THE WALL WITH ONLY A SINGLE BOUNCE ARE AN AUTOMATIC OUT.

4. A PLAYER MUST CALL INTERFERENCE BEFORE 2ND BOUNCE WHICH CAUSES AN AUTOMATIC REPLAY. LAST PLAYER TO HIT THE BALL SERVES.

5. CROSS COUNTRIES AND BABIES ARE GOOD PLAYS EXCEPT ON SERVE.

6. UNTIED SHOES ARE AN OUT AT SERVE, REPLAY IF IT HAPPENS DURING PLAY.

7. ALL ARGUMENTS AND CUTTING LINE ARE A DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE TOURNAMENT.

8. FIRST PLAYER TO REACH 10 WINS, WINS THE TROPHY.
9. REFEREE HAS FINAL WORD ON EVERYTHING.
We decided to give the winners of the tournament a trophy.  Since we didn't know how long the game would take, we bought three hand balls just in case the games went quick.  We booked a spot at our local park where we knew there was a handball / racquetball court and set up our party nearby to ensure all of the parents could watch the game.  I was the referee and decided to get the games underway.  We had 13 kids, all of varying ages. At the last minute, I shifted the plan of having all 13 kids play together in one tournament with first person to 10 wins being the winner of the trophy.  There were 1st graders and 6th graders playing and I thought it would not be fair to the little ones having to compete with an 11 year old.  With three trophies, I lined everyone up in height order from shortest to tallest and then split them into 3 groups so that there were only 4 or 5 kids in each group.  Then, each group moved to a separate line around the court and I asked the youngest group to play first.  We all read the rules together and I answered all of their questions before starting.  Each group played through all of the players in their group and as a person won, I would give them a check mark next to their name for each win.  Once each group played through all of their group members, I stopped play and invited the 2nd group to start play.  We rotated through all of the players in group 2 and I then asked group 3 to play, rotating through the players in each group and rotating group to group to prevent anyone from getting bored. 
The kids had a blast, there were cheers from the big kids for their favorite 1st grade player and cheers all around for great plays and individual rallies!  There was no arguing as they all knew the referee had the final ruling.  Soon, we had our first winner in one of the groups and I presented them with their trophy.  After all of the winners were determined, I learned that age had nothing to do with ability as many of the younger players were just as talented as some of the older kids.  It came down to the players ability, experience and passion of the game.  To download a copy of the trophy instructions, click on the attached link..
Overall, the Handball themed birthday party was a huge success.  We ordered fried chicken from our local Albertsons grocery store deli, served fruit, potato and pasta salad and some amazing handball themed cupcakes.  We had budgeted for $400 for this party and came in significantly under budget, around $280.  Are you looking for help with your next birthday party?  Try this unique and fun idea or email us for additional help.  To download a copy of the Handball Rules and Score Keeper click on the link below.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Year's at Knott's Berry Farm family tradition.

Welcome in the New Year at Knott's Berry Farm with your family. The park will be filled with live entertainment and fireworks to bring in the New Year. Simply park your car and walk to the entrance to have a full day of festivities. There is no need to drive too far to have the best holiday fun ever. Up to late, drive to long? No worries, you can stay at the Knotts Berry Farm Hotel just a short walk in the park and enjoy a late night of dancing, riding roller coasters and fireworks. It is really the best way to enjoy bringing in the New Year.

My family and I make it out to the New Year's celebration every year as part of our family tradition. Family traditions are very important part of building lasting memories and creating bonds with your kids and the rest of the family. It is also a great time to show your kids that you have a fun side and understand that play time is important too. I recommend that you come and play at Knott's Berry Farm with your family and friends this holiday season and ring in the New Year with the Field Trip Mom family.



This year, the good people of Knott's Berry Farm are sponsoring a chance to win (2) tickets through our blog. I am so excited to open this great opportunity to all my loyal readers. Enter for a chance to win (2) tickets to Knott's Berry Farm and come ring in the New Year with us.


Disclaimer: Sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are all my own.





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Knott's Berry Farm is located at 8039 Beach Blvd Buena Park, CA 90620. For more information on tickets, attractions and more go to Knott's Website

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Heirloom and Hardware custom furniture boutique.

I want to introduce you to custom furniture through Heirloom and Hardware.  They are a great store where you can find furniture that inspires you. The inspiration comes from the owners husband-and-wife team Joseph and Jessica D’Ambra, and sibling Jennifer, who create each piece with passion for home furniture.
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Heirloom and Hardware has been selling  custom furniture since 2011.  They have a new store at 2930 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 in the LAB shopping center. We were recently invited to their grand opening.  Dorian Gomez filled in for me and was my eyes and ears on this special night.  He called me and revealed his thoughts on the store with me.
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Dorian: ”Their love for turning something vintage into something classic is evident the minute you walk in the door of their store.
Me:  What feeling did you get from the place?
Dorian: The shop owners really love their craft of making furniture.  They travel to Europe to find one of a kind piece to transform into custom designs.  The love is very much evident in the details of each furniture piece.
Me: What did you love besides the furniture?
Dorian:  They offer candles, accessories and many other timeless pieces for the home.
Me: I saw jewelry and other cute accessories on Instagram photos. What can you tell us about it?
Dorian: They carry one of a kind scarfs, necklaces and journals.  Everything is made to inspire you to be original.
Me: What else can you tell me about your experience?
Dorian: Attending the H&H grand opening has helped me visualize the coexistence between vintage and contemporary. The owners Joseph and Jessica D’Ambra bring together a harmonious blend of custom furniture with a vintage history.  I found a few favorite items such as  the European Medicine cabinet, handmade shelving system made out of rolling carts and their unique artwork brought back from their travels. 
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The store is opened Monday through Saturday from 11am until 7pm and Sunday is 11am until 5pm.
I recommend that you stop by and get inspired by the custom made furniture.
2930 Bristol St. Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. Thank you  Dorian Gomez for being a contributor on this story. All thoughts and opinions are all our own.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Copper Fit Compression Knee Sleeve

Copper Fit Infused Compression Garments is a uni-sex compression sleeve used to help with easier joint movement and pain relief.  Several months back, the kind staff from Copper Fit and Idea Village sent Field Trip Dad the gift of pain management and relief in which I gladly was willing to try.  Field Trip Mom.com was sent a compression knee sleeve in exchange for this blog post.  All opinions and comments are my own and we did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.
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Copper Fit compression sleeves infuses copper ions during the manufacturing process which will not easily wash or wear out of the garment even through several washings.  Copper is a natural mineral, environmentally friendly and a required nutrient in our present ecosystem.  For thousands of years, ancient Aztecs, Romans and Egyptians have used copper for many benefits according to Gregor Grass, Christopher Rensing and Marc Solioz in their book Metallic Copper as an Antimicrobial Surface. Applied Environmental Microbiology, March 2011.  Copper provides protection against staining, bacteria, odors and the deterioration of the product.   Copper is non-irritating and a vital nutrient to humans.

Copper Fit uses compression support which has been used by doctors and physical therapists providing muscle and circulatory support.  Compression type products may provide benefits and relief to sore, stiff or painful muscles, improved circulation and assist in muscle strain and fatigue. Results vary person to person.  Seek a professional doctor and/or physical therapist for additional thoughts and opinions before deciding for your unique situation.

As a child, I was outside playing, biking, skating and playing sports with my friends from sun up to sun down during the summers.  Between the ages of 7 and 14, I experienced painful growing pains in my legs and once every couple of months my knees would swell the size of cantaloupe melons, filling with fluid (also called water on the knee.)  This was an extremely painful time for me as a child, I couldn't bend my knees without agonizing pain.  The swelling would come on overnight during my sleep and it would awaken me dramatically in the middle of the night keeping me up for the rest of the early morning hours.  My parents took me to the family doctor on several occasions and the diagnosis was the same every time; he played too hard.  Go home and have him rest.  Typically the swelling would subside a few days later and I would be back to normal until the next occurrence. My parents took me to an orthopedic surgeon after several occurrences in which he wanted to perform exploratory surgery since there were no MRI's during those days and my parents refused to put me through that pain.  Now 40, I have always had knee pain, stiffness and soreness during and after running.  Recently, I was experiencing pain in my knees climbing stairs and decided to go back to an Orthopedic surgeon who took an MRI for me and diagnosed me with a tear in my meniscus which over time semi repaired itself with scar tissue.  The doctor deemed this to not be life threatening nor felt surgery was an option and told me that some day I could potentially re-injure my knee which would then place me in the operating room. He suggested low impact sports as a solution.
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I received the Copper Fit compression sleeve for my knee and started using it for exercise on an elliptical machine and while walking up to 5 miles.  My 3 month experience was incredible.  The sleeve provided flexible support to my knee and enough compression to feel as if I was wearing a heavy duty knee brace.  The fabric was moisture wicking so I didn't chaff from sweat during my exercise program.  The Copper Fit compression sleeve is ideal for performance athletes, physical workers and persons who are gracefully aging.  Made from 82% Polyester, 14% Spandex and 4% Copper and other materials, the compression sleeves come in 3 sizes.  They offer products for knees, elbows, ankles, as well as T-Shirts, Shorts and Socks.  The antimicrobial fabric is easy to wash in cold water and dry on low.  I wear my compression sleeve for many activities from exercise to working in the garage to playing handball and biking with the kids.  Whatever your job or activity, 15 or 70, I recommend trying the Copper Fit Compression Garments for easier movement and pain relief.

To learn more, seek additional information from your health care professional or physical therapist. You can find all of the Copper Fit product line at Copper Fit.

Written by contributor and co-owner of Fieldtripmom.com: Tim Bosek