Monday, February 6, 2023

Why You Should Take Your Kids To Jurassic Quest


This past weekend Jurassic Quest visited Dayton, Ohio.  Jurassic Quest is an interactive dinosaur exhibit that is traveling the country.  There is so much to see and do Jurassic Quest.  A lot of the activities are geared more for kids under 10, but older kids, and adults will enjoy it too.  We had the chance to check out this great event thanks to USFAMILYGUIDE.


When you first walk in, it feels like you are in prehistoric times.  There is an entire section on moving dinosaurs of all kinds.  We really enjoyed this section, there was so much to see.



I am not a dinosaur expert, but it seemed like there was representation for pretty much every kind of dinosaur.  In this area you could read information about the dinosaurs, and watch videos from the Jurassic Quest experts on monitors.  




There are also a few photo op areas, like being in a dino egg, or a T-Rex's mouth.  


If you would like to learn about dinosaur fossils, they have some actual fossils to look at, and an expert there to answer questions. 


Do you ever wonder what it might be like to ride a dinosaur? They have two different types of dinosaur rides with many different dinosaurs to ride.


For the littlest visitors there is a dinosaur themed play area.  There were so many activities for kids to do such as inflatables, a fossil dig, excavation station, and Jurassic Jeeps. 



One of my favorite areas was where you can meet the walking dinos.  At designated times throughout the day, a young raptor greeted the guests.  This was a lot of fun for the kids and adults alike.   Also walking around the event were trainers with baby dinosaurs.  While we did not meet one up close, we did get a glimpse of a little guy. 



When you are done visiting, and if you would like to take a part of Jurassic Quest home with you, they had a very nice souvenir area. The biggest seller, and probably cutest souvenir are the walking dinosaur balloons. 

We definitely enjoyed our afternoon, and I recommend going if your kids like dinosaurs.  They have the schedule of upcoming locations at on their website JurassicQuest.com.  

If you find that a event is coming to your area, you are in luck!  My readers can get 20% off their tickets by using the code USFAM.  

If you have gone or plan on going, let me know in the comments.  
















 

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Friday, February 3, 2023

It's Time to Dare Share!

 

It is Friday night, and you know what that means...
It is time to Dare to Share! 

I had a full week of posts planned, but things don't always go as planned.  The week  started out well. Last Saturday, I went on a road trip with a few friends to the largest Dollar Tree in Ohio. It was a lot of fun, we shopped for a few hours, and then had great meal.   On Sunday, I watched the big game and sadly watched my Bengals lose in a heartbreaking way. It was definitely a bummer, but we will be back again next year!  On Monday morning, both my boyfriend and I woke up not feeling well. As the day went on, the worse I felt.  I have had a bad cold all week.  My bonus daughter and I  had plans to go to a crochet class at the library on Wednesday, but had to skip it this week. I had two more posts that I wanted to post in addition to one that I actually posted, but I just did not feel up to it.  Today was the first day I started to feel like myself again.  Just in time too, we have plans for this weekend that we hopefully  will be able to still do.  One good thing about not feeling well this week, I had an excuse not to go out in this freezing cold! It

How about you? How is the weather where you live?  Are you freezing, or do you have decent weather?  


I did post another one of my faux food crafts, which was how to make faux hot chocolate. It was fun to experiment more with spackle, which makes really great whipped cream.  I have one more faux food craft that I made, that I will be posting next week.  


I did work on a fun listing for my Etsy Shop this week,  which was my Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt for St. Patrick's Day.  Scavenger Hunts are always fun to make, and this one was especially so.  Kids use the clues to find three leprechauns somewhere in the house.  I am a little partial to one of the leprechauns. If you know anything about me, you will should be able to tell which one.  LOL! 

Now it is time for me to find out what you have been up to this week, and it's time to get this party started. Link up your posts have HAVE FUN! 





  











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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Faux Hot Chocolate







You may have been following along with my Valentine faux food posts such as Faux Valentine's Day Cake and How to Make Easy Faux Ice Cream. Today I am adding another fun faux food idea that is not only cute but can be used throughout the winter season. 


** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Today I am going to show you how to make  Faux Hot Chocolate. 

Dollar Tree sells these really nice 18 oz glass mugs in their store and on their website.  You can buy a quantity of four for only $5 on their website and have it shipped free to your local store.



 


I painted my mug to look like hot chocolate using this paint that I think I got from Michaels. Once it was dry, I touched up a few spots with another coat. It really looks like the color of hot chocolate. 

To make the whipped topping I used a tub of Dollar Tree lightweight spackle.



II add a small amount of water to the spackle so that it was a creamy texture.  Be careful not to use too much or it will become runny.  I found out the hard way.  Place your spackle in either a icing bag or a plastic bag. 

 

I cut an end off a  stryofoam ball and placed it on a foam plate.  The ball is the perfect size for the base of the whipped cream topping .  I almost forgot mention, before you start using the spackle trace around the top of the mug on the plate in pencil, so you know how big you should make your whipped cream. 





I added small glass brown beads to the spackle while is was still wet to look like chocolate sprinkles. I also cut a red and white straw to about two inches long and placed it in the spackle whipped cream. 


Once it was dry, I gently cut the circle line on the foam plate. the spackle begins to crack which it might if there was too much water in it like mine was, I touched it up with a slightly wet paint brush. 


My whipped cream topper is just slightly bigger than the mug so it sits on top. If you would like your to fit inside, you might want to fill the mug with crumpled paper or something similar to support the topper



The last thing I did was add a heart decal from a page of window clings to use as a Valentine's Day decoration. 

I hope to make more of these in the near future.

















 

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Friday, January 27, 2023

It's Dare to Share Saturday!

It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

Happy Friday!  Were you affected by the bad weather that hit most of the country this week?  We were under a winter storm warning all day Tuesday into the Wednesday.  Tuesday night many schools in my area pre-emptively closed for Wednesday. Many other places like the libraries, day cares and other facilities also announced that they were going to close as well. We were expecting to get about six inches of snow and ice.  That is not exactly what happened.  While the roads were icy overnight, we got only a couple of inches of snow and the ice melted very quickly. I have to keep reminding myself that after surviving many winters in Michigan, that southern Ohio is not quite as used to the snow as we are up north. LOL   I had plans with a few friends to go on the road trip to the biggest Dollar Tree in Ohio on that Wednesday, but with the potential storm we postponed it until this weekend. I am so excited that the weather is supposed to be good so we can go.  I have a long list of items that I hope to find to share on the blog and on Instagram.


This week I shared a couple of new posts on the blog. One was how to make easy faux ice cream. It was a lot of fun to make, and looks very real. It is also surprisingly easy, and only needs a few supplies.  You will find yourself craving ice cream when you are done making it.   I have a few more faux food crafts that I will be sharing over the next week.  



My second post was an update to the Dollar Tree Craft Class  I taught last weekend. The class went really well, and I was very happy with how creative everyone is.  I will be attending another craft event at our library in the upcoming week, which I am also really looking forward to.  




Over on my Etsy Shop I have been busy creating Valentines for Valentine's Day.  I added several new prints to my shop this year like these cute animal cards. Also in the shop are  last years favorite bee valentines and many more. 


Well that is what I have you been up to, what have you been up to this week?  I would love to see, so let's get this party started. Link up, and HAVE FUN! 


Oh, and before I forget...  I have started a newsletter.  If you are interested in receiving it, I would love to send it to you.  You can find the sign up form at the top right corner of the blog.  


Now it's time for the party.....  




 

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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Our Dollar Tree Craft Class




Last week I mentioned that I had joined a newly formed Dollar Tree craft group in my area, and that I would be teaching our first group craft.   Since it will soon be Valentine's Day, I wanted to share a craft that fit the Valentine theme.  I chose the Faux Valentines Day Cake. (I shared how to make one, last week)  It was something a little bit different, and there was so many ways it could be changed to make it their own. 

We had eleven people who were able to make it to the class at our local library.  Everyone was so nice, and happy to be there.  We had the room for two hours, so after we introduced ourselves to the the group we got started with the craft.  


The attendees had been given a basic list of supplies before the class and told that the could buy whatever colors and embellishments that wanted. They were told to bring a paper mache box, adhesive paper or craft foam, some embellishments and either caulk or spackle. All of the supplies on the list could be found at the Dollar Tree.   Not everyone who attended was able to find the caulk or spackle at their Dollar Tree.  A couple of people chose to bring spring embellishments instead of Valentines Day.  The class was not really just about making the craft, but about meeting new people, being creative, and having fun. 

I loved seeing how people took the same concept, and put their own spin on it.  All of the boxes looked very different. 








Everyone who attended had fun making their creations, including the four year old granddaughter one of of the students. 



It was so cute listening to her say how much fun she was having making a creation. She really liked being included in the class.  Everyone thought she did a great job!


I am not sure what our next month's craft will be, or who will be teaching it yet.  I just know that I look forward to the next class what ever it we are making.    



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Monday, January 23, 2023

How to make easy faux ice cream


Making faux ice cream for the craft class I taught, has to be one of my favorite new things to craft. Not only was it simple to make, it was made using Dollar Tree products.  

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


Items I used to make the ice cream 



Craft Smart Acyrlic Paint in Brown and Pink Blast 


Good Cook Ice Cream Scoop   (I liked this kind because it made the scoops more uniform in shape) 




I mixed the spackle, and just a teeny bit of water in a plastic container.  As you stir it, it becomes the consistency of ice cream.  





Using an ice cream scoop with a spring handle makes the prettiest ice cream.  If you don't like how one turns out, that's okay, you can put it back in the bowl re-scoop it. The scoop in the bottom left has a little bit more water mixed in, which made it have a softer look. Place the scoops on a piece of wax paper to dry.   I was able to make 3 scoops from one small container of spackle. 


There are two ways you can make the colored ice cream.  You can mix the paint into the spackle, or you can paint them when they are dry which is what I did.  I mixed the brown and the pink with Dollar Tree white acrylic paint until I got the colors I liked to make the strawberry and chocolate ice cream. 




 Just a heads up, it's best to not be hungry when you are making these because they really look like real ice cream. 




When the scoops were dry I put them in a glass dessert bowl.   I think I got these at Dollar Tree awhile back, but since they no longer have the stickers on them, I am not sure.  

If desired you can add faux chocolate syrup, faux whip cream or even faux cherries from Hobby Lobby to your ice cream.   I will be making some more of ice cream treats in the near future, and  posting more faux ice cream DIYS. 



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Friday, January 20, 2023

It's Party Time! Let's Dare to Share..

It's Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 


How has your week been going?  I have been working on projects for the class I am teaching tomorrow.  I am so happy how they turned out and will be posting them next week.  I did post one of the projects earlier this week.  


We are going to be making Faux Valentine Cakes out of paper mache boxes, adhesive paper, and caulk. Everyone will be bringing different supplies, so I am really excited to see how they all turn out.  



Also this week I wrote about Jurassic Quest in this post here. . It's a fun interactive dinosaur exhibit traveling the country.  My readers are able to save 20% on tickets if they use the code USFAM. 

This year I am trying something new. I have started a newsletter. It has been a little bit of a learning curve trying to figure out a new platform, but it gets easier each time I use it. I am sending out emails 1-2 times a week and would love it if you would join us.  The sign up form is in the upper right hand corner of my blog.  

Well it looks like it is time to get this started.  I would love to see what you have been up to this week.  

Link up and HAVE FUN! 




 

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Thursday, January 19, 2023

Love Dinosaurs? Take the kids to Jurassic Quest!


I am have been a member of the US Family Guide family for several years. I love being part of the of this group because I hear about fantastic activities for my family and my reader's families might want to attend. I just heard of another fun event I want so share with you. 

If you have a dinosaur lover in your family you will want to check out Jurassic Quest,and see if it is going to be in an area near you because it looks like a lot of fun.

It will be in Dayton, Ohio, February 3- 5, but if you are not local to Ohio, it will also be visiting Memphis TN, Pittsburgh PA, Des Moines, IA and many more. 






Want to know more about this event?  Jurassic Quest is North America's largest, most popular dino event with unique and exciting experiences for the whole family.
 
Some of the dinosaurs you will see are a Apatosarus, Spinosaurus, a T-Rex, and a 50 ft long Megalodon.   Guests have a chance to interact with trainers, baby dinos, and watch a live Raptor show.  There are dinosaur rides, a giant fossil dig, inflatables, a fossil exhibit and a Triceratots play area for younger kids

My readers get an exclusive offer of the price of tickets.  You cand Save 20% off your tickets with the code USFAM

Make sure to get your tickets before they go extinct at www.jurassicquest.com!


We are excited to be going, so watch for a post on our experience in a few weeks. 









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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Faux Valentine's Day Cake



 



I am teaching a Dollar Tree crafting class this weekend to a local group of woman, and I am quite excited about it.  As you know if you have followed me for awhile, I love crafting and I also love the Dollar Tree.   Some of my favorite crafts to make are faux food, and with Valentine's Day coming up it seems like the perfect time to make some for the blog and for the crafting class. 

 ** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

I meet the woman who started the crafting group at the Dollar Tree so we could chose which craft to have a the class, we decided on a faux Valentine's cake made from a paper mache heart box.



Here is what I used for this cake 


a 3 piece glitter paper pack 

Valentine table scatter (it looks like candy) 

felt heart stickers  

Tool Box all purpose caulk , their lightweight spackle will work as well 

I used the smaller 4.5 ounce size of caulk because I already had some on hand, but they now also have a larger 8 ounce version in a different tube. 




This first thing that I did was cover the box in the glitter paper.  I tried to fit it to size as best I could. It worked pretty well. One the top where the paper met it wasn't perfect, but that was okay because it would be covered in caulk.  



While I did have icing tips in my original picture, it did not fit on the smaller caulk tube.  I could have gone downstairs to get a baggie to use with the tip, but I decided to see how using the tube with out a tip.  While it is not a fancy shape, it looks like icing and the tube was easy to use. 


I added one of the table scatter hearts on top with a little bit a caulk. 


I added a few felt heart stickers on the side for a pop of color. I left this particular faux cake on the simple side because it is an example for the class.  I will be making another one during the class.  You can use what ever you want cover or embellish your cake.     Glass beads look great as sprinkles. Foam heart picks look like cupcake picks.  They even have glitter heart stickers in various shapes and sizes.   

I will be sharing the other Valentine  crafts and tell you how the class went soon.  




If you like the looks of faux sweets, Dollar Tree currently has their Sweets Fairy Garden Houses and accessories, as well as their other many themed fairy gardens available in limited quantities online.  



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