Handy Helper – Toothpaste

Toothpaste is becoming a miracle helper in my house. People always think they have a secret object to fix almost anything. I am sure there are thousands of uses out there. But here is a list of uses for toothpaste.. and not just for freshening breath! So far the best kind of toothpaste we have found that works best is the white Crest paste (not the gel)


1.) Bug Bites!

Yes! Bug bites! Summer is upon us and in Florida mosquitos are out in full force!  Mosquitos are nasty boogers and they  love Jackson.  I always feel so bad for him when he gets bit. Even if we spray him down, dryer sheets help, but he doesn’t want to keep them in his pockets.  Get a dab of toothpaste on each bite and it immediately relieves the itch and removes the redness.

2.) Burns!

Burns as in from the oven, grill, or curling iron. Anything else you might be a klutz with and burn yourself on, if you are anything like me.  Apply a light layer on the burn immediately.  Let this 1st layer dry and then gently wipe it off.  Reapply the 2nd layer. Toothpaste removes the sting and the swelling. If you allow it to set it on the burn for at least 2 hours (the combination of both applications)  your burn will no longer be tender t touch, no scaring either!

3.) Remove crayon marks on walls!

Gotta love kids and drawing on the walls.  Rub a small dab of toothpaste on a washcloth and rub it on the marks.  Make sure to wash it off with warm water though!

4.) Deodorize Hands!

Have you cooked onions or garlic before and you can’t get the smell off your hands and the stainless steel trick isn’t working for you.. try washing your hands with toothpaste. Toothpaste helps with bad breath so why not smelly hands?

5.) Jewelry

Be careful when doing this one. To polish up stones take a small dab of toothpaste and an old toothbrush and go to work polishing. Rinse with warm water.  Cleans up rather well!

6.) Zits!

Yes, toothpaste works on zits as well. Dab it on and go to bed!  It dries the zit out. Isn’t that just nice?

7.) Fill small holes in the walls.

Again just a dab on a small hole ( thumbtack size) and let it dry. Sand and repaint.




Happy Summer and I hope that these tips help!

Gulfarium Adventures

If you ever come to Destin, Florida on vacation and you have the kids with you, take a break from the beach one day and check out the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. It is just across the bridge from Destin in Fort Walton Beach (on Okaloosa Island).  There is several activities to suit each age group. I took Jack there for his first time last month and he loved it! I’m not sure of his favorite section although I know he really liked the dolphin show.  He also asked to see the alligators, which are big, he wanted to see bigger and go pet them. I blame myself for letting him watch Gator Boys for that one. My personal favorite part are the penguins (yes! Penguins in Florida!) and the touch and feel sealife tank. Tickets aren’t too bad priced for what all you get to see.

Deciding to go here all started because Jack wanted to be a ninja turtle. We have an old turtle shell at home and it really peaked his interest.



Here are a few pictures from our adventure!













Target Practice

**Warning this works best when no wind is present**


Are you ready for your little ones to work on some hand and eye coordination?  Target practice is a great way to practice just that.  Don’t worry no guns (or water guns) are used.

What you need:

  1. Spray Bottle (preferably one with a stream knob instead of spray)
  2. Ping Pong balls
  3. Golf Tees
  4. Foam Pool Noodle


Step 1:

Cut about 2 feet off of your pool noodle. This will be your base for target practice.



Step 2:

In as straight of line as possible  line up your golf tees horizontally across the pool noodle.




Step 3:

Use two golf tees in the back  and on in the front, placed at a diagonal slant to insure the pool noodle doesn’t move.





Step 4:

Add your ping pong balls to the golf tees. **Remember this activity works best with no wind**




Step 5: 

Have your child sit at various lengths away from the target with the spray bottle. The farther away they are the harder the targets will be to hit.















Now enjoy!  This is perfect for summer time. Caution for the backlash of giving a kid a spray bottle, you might just get wet yourself 😉

Catching Some Rays

Today Jackson and I decided to make a few different sun catchers. More than likely, a few might go to his grandparents for Mother’s Day.  These were super easy, you just have to be patient and wait. I have seen several on Pinterest that involved using your oven and on a few occasions I read comments that other people had put them on the grill. Well, that is what we decided to do. I am so happy we did too because I couldn’t imagine the smell of burnt plastic all over the house, when it was bad enough outside.

I set the grill to medium/low (or around 500-600 degrees)

What you need:

Metal (it has to be metal) dish

Plastic pony beads (the transparent kind)


That’s it. Pretty simple actually.

Arrange your beads in your metal dish in a single layer. The more beads you have the thicker it will be.



(Yellow Angry Bird had to help)



(This pattern in the grill was not melting as it should and I had to add more beads)



Grill for around 15 minutes or until completely melted.

While we were waiting, like any project with a 3 year old there is going to be a mess. This time Jackson decided to step in the bowl of pony beads and spill them all over the the patio and into the grass… Yay!



…..but before that happened we were taking the time to try and separate the pony beads. Teaching Jackson about organization and categorizing.  Yeah he wasn’t having much fun with that and started to get VERY whiny.





Check the grill the sun catchers should be finished.



We hung this one in our kitchen window.

I love it.

To hang just drill a small hole and use string. (Edited: Once you take this off the grill or out of the oven, while the beads are still hot, stick a non-melted pony bead into the sun catcher. Make sure the holes are on it’s side so you slide your string through. This beats having to drill anything and you get to use another cute bead! Just please do not burn yourself.) 

Let’s Play with Shaving Cream!

There are so many different ways you can play with shaving cream. This week our shaving cream play time involved a tarp (left over from Outdoor Waterbed), shaving cream (we used 2 travel sized cans) and a little bit of water that was left over from rinsing the tarp off in the 1st place 🙂

After spraying on the shaving cream I just let Jackson go to town. It turned out to be a pretty cool slip n slide. We will definitely be doing this one again!  He had so much fun that all you could see was a smile on his face and hear the giggles in the air.  He even pretended to be a frog perched on top of his lilly pad.

Warning: very picture heavy! It just shows the excitement! 





We had to get mommy in on the action

























Soda Volcano

Diet Coke and Mentos explode!  Did anyone else know that?  I didn’t until just the other day and decided we had to try it out. Of course we had to try it out on a day that daddy was home so he could actually get all sticky and I take pictures. This was a fun time. However, it is a shame that each bottle can only be used once. Also pouring the soda into smaller glasses in hopes for more activities doesn’t work. Both regular and diet coke work for this as you can see in the pictures.

All you need is a bottle of Diet Coke (or Coke) and a between 5-6 Mentos.

Here are our pictures!









AAA_7585 (our dog had to clean up the mess)







Let’s Take A Drive Bridge

This blog post is a little bit different from the others, this is our first blog as a part of Kids Craft Blogger Challenge through MomTrusted / Early Teacher. Check out Early Teacher when you get a chance.

This month we received around 25-30 big and medium sized popsicle sticks to work with.  What do you do as a craft with this tool when you have a son that has TONS of cars? You build a bridge for them to take a drive on. This will even work for girls that have lots of dolls that like to take walks in the park too.

What you need:

  • Popsicle sticks– Medium to Large at least 50.  This really depends on how big you want your bridge. We made it wide enough for two cars to pass, but if you use smaller sticks your bridge will be more narrow.   


  • Wood Glue – this process will take several days, you can use hot glue if you want it done faster.


  • Shallow pan– to soak your wood in to be able to bend it.
  • Clothespins- to piece your wood together after it is glued.
  • Xacto knife– to cut any sticks down to size.

Step 1:  Lay out your popsicle sticks into a design you want to make. This is important to know what plan to follow and where to make adjustments.


Step 2:  Start by gluing your sides together. Your sticks that will be vertical you will want to double up. Place your cross beams in the middle. Makes it a little bit more sturdy and looks better too. You can see below how I used the clothes pins. These are small clothespins so I have more room to work with.



After this step I let it dry overnight.

Step 3: Start building your support beams on the bottom for the actual bridge portion.  You want to make a square with the ends sticking out so they can be mounted on the sides of the bridge. Also put one more stick vertical in the beam. You will make 2 of these.


Once the glue is dry you can attach it to the sides of the bridge.

Step 4: Soak two sticks in water until they can be easily bent.  This will be the middle arch or the bridge to connect either side of the bridge.


This picture shows the bridge upside down to show how I connected the bent sticks.

Step 5: Start laying your planks with the smaller sticks.  This works best with they are vertical. 


Step 6: Add your center planks.  We used the larger sticks to go horizontally in the center and cut them to size using an xacto knife.


Step 7: Let your child paint or decorate however they want to make the bridge one of a kind.  We have yet to do this step yet, but once Easter is over and things calm down I am sure Jackson will love to decorate it. 

Step 8: Enjoy!!! 


This project took about 3 days to finish. I was able to take my time instead of rushing things.  Waiting for glue to dry is the hardest thing about the project.  I would love to see your bridges and hear your feedback on how you though this project went. 

Outdoor Waterbed

This idea originated by Play At Home Mom LLC, you can find it here.  The idea of playing with water and staying dry at the same time is fantastic!   We did it slightly different from Play at Home Mom (basically just the size and color of the tarp).

What you need:

1 tarp – we used a 8×10 heavy duty tarp

Duct Tape –  we used some Gorilla Tape. Stuff is strong! 

Water Hose


This is a super easy project, just takes a little time.

Step one:  lay out the tarp and fold it in half

Step two: Duct tape all around the edges leaving a small opening just large enough for the hose to be placed in.  You may want to go around twice for good measure.



Step three: FILL IT UP!  It is easier to left up the end that the hose is in while it fills up so that water doesn’t leak out.  Once you have the amount of water you would like in it, just tape up that side too!

I have seen a few people place dish soap in it at this time so there are bubbles, toys, or any other objects. Just make sure that you don’t put anything that can poke a hole in it.

Step four: HAVE FUN!


Wet and Wild!!!


Temperatures are staying pretty high down here in Miami! I love it! I love that I can tan pretty much year round.

But what do you when you wake up and little man wants to play but it is already hot out?


We didn’t actually use to many water balloons, I had gotten a variety pack of balloons from the Dollar Store

a while ago and decided to use the rest of them up. The others were used as a cave under our dining table (forgot to post that one!)

So I filled up probably a totally for 15 balloons, let me tell you what these things are hard to break.

We did a bullseye target, not much luck.

We tried hitting it off his T-ball tee, no luck!

We even tried to poke it with a shovel, nope!!!

I finally found a secret, throw it by where you tied it and hope it finds a small rock! hahah.

He was able to pop a few of them, but it was still fun trying new ways of popping them!

Yes he is still in his mouse ears from Disney! 











Front Yard Exploration

Every now and then, as a parent, we need to remind ourselves to slow down. Stop and take a look at what you miss every day on the way to your car or on the way to check the mail. Your front yard can be explored just like a park down the street.  Yesterday Jackson and I did just this.

We stopped. We listened. We explored. 

And you know what, we had a lot of fun. It was maybe only 15-20 minutes for exploration, but it was something different.

We 1st went out and had a seat on our walkway. He loves it when I get a blade of grass between my thumbs and make that high pitch whistle sound. He even tries to immitate. Even if he usually just ends up putting the whole piece of grass in his mouth trying to figure it out. He is still trying and learning.

I had him find some purple flowers. My mexican petunias are always in bloom so this was what he picked. I’m ok with that since they are everywhere lining the front walk.




He started running out of blooms he could reach so he decided he just wanted to run from the door to me.



Yes, I still have a santa wreath up. Yes, I will change it when I feel inspired to make a spring time wreath.

And then he stopped and stared at our spiders. I loathe spiders. But these guys don’t bother me much since they stay on one side of the walk. If they crossed the line then they would be goners.


 While we still waited for daddy to arrive home we though we would play a little animal game. He showed me how kangaroos hopped, snakes slither, bears roamed and growled, and how a lion ran. Haha. And we were able to do that on the wet grass (Thanks Rain!) so he was sure to get extra dirty.

IMG_3204 IMG_3206

Sometimes play is more than playing. It is learning, using your imagination, exploring what is around you, and just having fun!

Get out and enjoy your own yard and see what all you find!