Mother’s Day Spa

Mother's Day Spa

bath salt12Mother’s Day is May 10! Give Mom a relaxing spa day at home with these spa science gifts you can make yourself using mostly household items. Bath salts add luxury to an ordinary tub while teaching about hard and soft water. Fizzy bath bombs delight the senses through a skin-safe chemical reaction. Homemade sugar scrub introduces exfoliants and humectants and their effects on the skin.

What you need:
• Plastic mixing bowl
• Plastic mixing spoon
• 1 cup Epsom salt
• 1 cup sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon glycerin
• Fragrance or essential oils (craft or health store)
• Colorant (craft store)
• Liquid soap
• Jar with lid, baby soda bottles* or other airtight container

What you do:
• Mix together the Epsom salt and sea salt in the mixing bowl.
• Add glycerin to the salt mixture and mix through. (The glycerin is not necessary, but it helps the colorant and oil get dispersed evenly through the salt.)
• Add a few drops of fragrance or essential oils.
• Add a few drops of colorant. We recommend getting oil-based skin-safe colorant from a craft store or else leaving out the colorant.
• Wet your hands with tap water, add a drop of soap to your hands, then rub together to form a lather.
• Observe how much lather forms, then rinse off your hands.
• Fill a sink with water and add about 1/8 cup of salt mixture to it.
• Use your hands to stir the water to help the salt dissolve.
• With your hands still wet from the salt water, add a drop of soap to your hands and rub them together to form a lather.
• Store the remaining salts in a jar, keeping the lid on tightly to keep moisture out. Use about 1/4 cup of the salts in your bath.

What Happened: Most likely you found it easier to form lather (and more of it!) when using the water with salt rather than the water with no salt. This is because of the difference between hard water and soft water. Most households in America have hard water. Hard water has a high mineral content, usually with calcium and magnesium, whereas soft water contains less of these minerals. Calcium and magnesium ions in the hard water react with the soap, forming insoluble gray flakes called soap scum rather than a lather. This means you need more soap to get clean and the bathtub gets a grimy ring around it from the leftover soap scum. One way to soften hard bath water is to add bath salts. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium and potassium ions from the salt, allowing the soap to lather much more easily. (If your home has soft water, you may not notice too much of a difference in how well the soap lathers in the water with your bath salts and the water without the bath salts. However, the salt and essential oils will still have a beneficial effect on your skin.)
Another benefit of adding bath salts to your bath has to do with osmosis. Osmosis is the movement of water through a membrane (such as your skin) to achieve equilibrium. Your body contains water and salt, whereas an ordinary bath contains mainly water and very little salt. Therefore, water passes through your skin in an effort to balance the concentration of water and salt in you and in your bath. This excess water causes “pruning” (your fingers and toes wrinkle). Adding bath salts to the water causes a more equal balance of salt and water in both you and in the bath, so less water enters your skin and less wrinkling occurs. Salt is also thought to draw impurities and toxins out of your skin and soothes sore muscles!

DIY Soap
DIY Honey Scrub
DIY Fizzy Bath Bombs
DIY Lip Balm

Print Friendly

Fizzing Easter Eggs

Fizzing Easter Eggs cover

What you need:Fizzing Easter Eggs
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Food coloring
• Baking soda
• Vinegar
• Bowls
• Paintbrushes
• Tongs
• Newspaper or paper towels

What you do:
• Make a paste of baking soda and water and add a few drops of food coloring. Repeat in separate bowls with as many colors as you’d like.
• Using a paintbrush, apply the baking soda mixture to a hard-boiled egg (if the mixture is too thick and goopy, add more water, several drops at a time until it has thinned to the right consistency to spread easily).
• Once your egg is decorated the way you want it, set it in an empty bowl.
• Pour about ½ cup of vinegar directly over each egg and enjoy the colorful, fizzy reaction!
• Once the fizz has died down, use tongs to carefully fish your egg out of the liquid and set it on newspapers or a stack of paper towels to dry.
• Repeat with as many eggs as you like—you’ll find that the baking soda paint makes it easy to make more intricate designs on your egg than ordinary egg dye would!

What Happened:
A basic chemical reaction between the baking soda (which is a base) and the vinegar (an acid) is what caused all the fizzing and bubbling! The baking soda made a type of paint when you mixed it with water and food coloring. After the chemical reaction, the baking soda and vinegar were mostly used up, leaving the dye behind on the eggs.

Looking for more egg science? Click here.

Print Friendly

Easter Grass

Easter Grass Cover

About two weeks after planting, the seeds will grow into long blades of thick grass, perfect for hiding colorful Easter eggs.easter wheat

You can order packets of wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) from online suppliers or find seeds at health food stores. With seeds in hand, here’s how to get started:

What you need:
• Wheatgrass seeds
• Container
• Potting soil

What you do:
• Soak seeds overnight before planting to speed germination.
• Fill a container with potting soil. If the container doesn’t have a drainage hole, cover the bottom with rocks to keep water away from roots.
• Drain seeds; sprinkle seeds on top of soil so seeds are fairly close together, but not on top of each other.
• Cover seeds with a thin (1/8”) layer of soil.
• Water seeds and keep soil moist.
• Once seeds begin to sprout (in about 1 week), move the container to a sunny window sill.
• Water daily or as needed to keep soil moist.

Print Friendly

Leprechaun Trap

Leprechaun Trap cover

What you need:Leprechaun Trap
• glass
• toothpick
• double sided tape
• scissors
• green and yellow construction paper
• pencil
• lego pieces
• coins

What you do:
• Cut strips of green and yellow paper.
• Tape the strips around the glass, layering them as you go up the glass.
• Cut a circle of paper slightly smaller than the opening of the top of the glass.
• Tape the paper circle to the toothpick to create a secret swinging trap door.
• Build a ladder for the leprechaun out of lego pieces
• To tempt the leprechaun into your trap balance a few coins on the center of the trap door.
• On the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, most children will find that the tricky leprechaun has managed to escape in a glittery trail of green dust — but not before leaving them a few gold coins in the bottom of the trap.

Print Friendly

St. Patrick’s Crafts

St. Patrick's Crafts

Lucky Rainbow CoverLucky Rainbow

 

 

 

Snake for KidsSnake for kids

 

 

 

Spring FlowersSpring Flowers

 

 

 

Lucky Banner

Lucky banner cover

 

 

 

Macaroni kid shamrock craftMacaroni Shamrock

 

 

 

Shamrock Pin CoverShamrock Pin

 

 

 

 

Lucky RainbowLucky Rainbow Cover

 

 

 

Little TreeLittle tree

 

 

 

 

 

Leprechaun TrapLeprechaun Trap cover

Print Friendly

DIY Reed Diffuser

DIY Reed Diffuser

What you need:reed-diffuser-instructions
• Glass bottle or vase with a small neck opening
• Diffuser reeds (or bamboo skewers)
• 60 ml alcohol
• 60 ml water
• 50-100 drops essential oil (orange is the best)

What you do:
• Make sure your reeds or skewers stick out several inches from the top of the container for maximum scent.
• Mix together alcohol, water, and essential oil in the container.
• Stick the reeds or bamboo skewers inside.
• After about an hour, flip the reeds over to saturate the top part of the reeds that stick out above the oil level. (This helps to speed up the process of the oil soaking up from the bottom diffusing through the entire reed.)
• Rotate the ends of the reeds or skewers once a week to refresh and prolong the fragrance.

Tip: You can substitute alcohol and water with 120 ml vodka.

Print Friendly

Watercolor Mug

Watercolor Mug cover

What you need:Watercolor mug
• Ceramic white coffee mug
• Old or Disposable Bowl/Container
• Hot water
• Nail Polish
• Gloves

What you do:
• Fill the bowl with warm water.
• Add a drop of nail polish to the water and let it spread out.
• Dip your mug in the water. (You can use nail polish remover to remove any excess nail polish on the bottom and inside of the mug or sections that got messed up.)
• Carefully pat mug dry with paper towel.
• You can repeat with additional colors if you want.
• Once you’ve achieved the look you want, let it sit for at least two hours.

Tip: Do it outside. Hand wash the mug.

Print Friendly

Card Holder

Card holder cover

What you need:card holder
• Clothespins
• Red and white paint
• Paint brush

What you do:
• Take the clothespins apart and paint the wooden pieces white or red.
• Let them dry.
• Paint snow flakes.
• Allow to dry completely and then put back together.
• Display your Christmas cards.

Print Friendly

Bloody Candle

Bloody candle cover

What you need:Bloody candle
• White candle
• Red wax candle or red crayon
• Matches or Lighter / hair dryer if your are using a crayon

What you do:
•Light a red candle and let it drip down onto the top and sides of the white candle.
• If you are using a red crayon, just hold it over the edge of the white candle. Using the hair dryer blow the air downwards.
• Display.

Print Friendly

Web Candle

Web candle cover

What you need:Web candle
• Wax candle
• Pencil
• Alcohol wipe
• Toothpaste
• Paper to put the candle on

What you do:
• Draw a spider web on the candle by pushing the pencil into the wax.
• Trace the design several times with the pencil applying pressure.
• Wipe the candle with the alcohol wipe to get rid of the extra wax.
• Using your finger dab some toothpaste over your web design.

Print Friendly

South Beach

South Beach

DSC_0350If you are visiting Miami, then visiting South Beach is a MUST. Do not miss the Ocean Drive and taking a dip in the ocean. the water is so pretty, looks Caribbean for sure. Plenty of entertainment as you walk along Ocean Drive and a wonderful stretch to take pictures. A short stroll to Lincoln road for more Restaurants and great shops. The beach is well groomed and nice to visit. We enjoyed swimming in the gentle waves. You can go pretty far out without it dropping off over your head. public parking is affordable and easy to get to. Couple blocks from the beach.

DSC_0343We loved walking down the Art Deco District. Miami Beach’s Art Deco District is the first 20th-century neighborhood to be recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, with 800 structures of historical significance, most built between 1923 and 1943. The fanciful pastel buildings, with porthole windows, ship-like railings, sleek curves, glass blocks, shiny chrome, and gleaming terrazzo floors are prime eye candy.

We started our  stroll where 5th Street dead-ends into the beach at Ocean Drive, heading north. As we walked along Ocean Drive, we saw  the porthole windows, curved metal rails and flags copied from the big ocean liners that docked at the Port of Miami in the 1930s. Tried to  to shoot postcard pictures of each hotel but we definitely have to go back to take better ones.  The most beautiful ones are:  Park Central HotelPark Central (between 6th and 7th streets). Built in 1937 and renovated in 1987, it was the first hotel to be returned to its original splendor. The hotel was a hangout for Hollywood stars, such as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, and Rita Hayworth.

Beacon HotelAlso in the 700 block of Ocean Drive: the wedding cake-like 1936 Beacon Hotel and the 1935 Colony Hotel, with its prominent sign and neon accents.

Cross the street to linger at  Lummus Park at Ocean Drive and 7th Street, where you can take a few steps east, over a dune, and be on the beach. Look back to the west for a great view of the Art Deco skyline, particularly stunning at night, when the hotels turn on their neon signs. There are usually musicians singing and playing bongos or guitars in the park.

 

Back on Ocean Drive,we kept  keep moving north past the Waldorf Towers, 860 Ocean Dr., with its round glass tower that looks like a lighthouse. When we got  to 10th Street, we saw Art Deco Welcome Center. It’s home to the Miami Design Preservation League (www.mdpl.org), which formed in 1976 to save the historical hotels from being razed by developers and restore them to their glory days. There are  books, brochures, and guided tours here. Self-guided tours are available Wednesday through Sunday.

 

Print Friendly

Everglades

Everglades

DSC_0190On the way to Miami, FL we decided not to miss a  chance of getting two more Junior Ranger Badges for Nicholas. (We got the first one couple of years ago in Zion National park and ever since it has been a  great way to learn  about the history and nature of the United States).
Before you go to Everglades with kids you should know that visiting Florida’s Everglades  presents a few challenges…  Since Everglades National Park was the first national park established to preserve biological diversity and resources, not for scenic views the drive has little variety or dramatic scenery.
The solution is simple, stop at each and every one of the wonderful trails and visitors’ centers along the way and enjoy the trip.

DSC_0191Everglades National Park was established December 6, 1947 and it covers 1,542,526 acres. There are three places in the park to get your Junior Ranger badge (Big Cypress National PreserveBiscayne National Park, and Everglades National Park) and if you visit all three of them you can get a special Junior Ranger patch.
Since we were on the mission to get to Miami and back the same day we could not spend too much time in the National Park. But we are definitely going to be back for an airboat ride and to walk a trail or two.
DSC_0204Even though we did not spent more than an hour in the Everglades Park we were lucky  enough to spot a couple of alligators enjoying a sunny afternoon.
We visited Everglades in mid April, the temperature was ideal and we did not need mosquito repellent. But you  should keep in mind that from May to October, insects may make visits unbearable, especially for kids.
The wet season begins in June; summers are hot and humid, with many afternoon thunderstorms – and mosquitoes. Best time to visit is from November to March. We were told that  wildlife viewing is best in winter too.

Dolphin Explore – Marcos Island

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Print Friendly