Summer Reading Chart

Our library’s summer reading program is sadly very lame, it’s just a half sheet of paper to write down the titles of 20 books you read, then you get a free book. Nothing like the awesome programs I had when I was a kid! On giant pieces of paper, and you got little prizes along the way! Oh! The fun of coloring in each stepping stone on the path to a new prize!! Even if the prize was just a sticker! And then you got a free book at the very end. So I wanted to create something exciting!

I began by combing Pinterest for ideas. I was thinking that I would make a chart then print two of them, and of course I’d have to find prizes that I could afford to buy two of… then I got this great idea from a blog post at Women Living Well to make it joint effort! If you have two children at different reading levels, make them one chart, then as a team they are working together to get prizes. Genius!

So I scrapbooked this chart, with all their favorite things! And, not only do they love the idea and the chart, they are actually using it!! Such FUN!

Side Note: I DO allow them to read to each other to mark off two books, because they are still participating in books.

Another Note: I remembered (after printing this chart, on giant 17 x 11 paper in color), that when I was a kid each stepping stone was 15 minutes, so I might lower the each book to 15 minutes instead of 30, depending on how slow filling in the chart is going, lol

Failed: A summer shawl

Every summer I get sunburnt. I don’t tan, ever, I only burn. Just a part of life. I use a touch of sunscreen when I know I’ll be out in the summer sun all day, however I’m mostly talking about that ten minute walk home from the train each day, it’s enough to make me constantly look a tad past rosy for three months out of the year, and I refuse to wear sunscreen always.

When I had a car I’d drape my head and arms with a thin black winter scarf, while blasting the air conditioning in my face, and in that undignified vampiric method I would make my way home. This is my first summer carless, and I’ve found that a scarf in the dead of summer without air conditioning is unbearable. I struck on the idea of a thin light colored scarf, that maybe would keep off some of the sun, but not be so hot… it was a no go. Complete failed experiment. See said scarf below. I found the large piece of fabric to be suffocatingly hot. Oh well… I will just continue to slowly cook to death until the cloud cover returns in September!


I had this epiphany at the beginning of summer, and have just now got around to making it. Summer hit and I really wanted to have a water balloon fight with my girls. On three separate occasions I almost purchased a thick plastic nozzle with a ton of little tiny plastic bits that would eventually be easy to burst water balloons… the height of summer happiness from my childhood. Before the plastic nozzle/balloon pack (also packaged in plastic) made it to the cashier, I’d picture the post water-balloon-fight plastic mess, all that plastic waste that I would be responsible for loosing into the world. The third time I almost bought the nozzle/balloon pack, I noticed nearby a very small net with a cardboard top advertising water bombs. Inside the neat non-plastic packaging were several cloth balls with stuffing inside them. Epiphany moment! Mixed with a little bit of duh! This way totally makes sense for many reasons!! With a cloth water bomb fight you don’t have all that pesky filling water balloon boredom. You don’t have to buy new balloons for each game, anytime you want to splat someone with water, grab a handy cloth ball. And best of all – no plastic waste.

Water Bombs
I went with a very simple way to make them, since I didn’t care how they looked, and I wanted my girls to be able to help.
1. Pull out your scraps that are too small to use for anything else. Shoddily cut them into square-ish or rectangle-ish shapes.
2. Cut a length of sewing string or embroidery floss about 10 inches long. For embroidery floss only use two strands. Thread it on a sharp needle, or embroidery needle.
3. Sewing a running stich along the outside of your scrap, tugging gently as you go to make the top gather.
4. When you are nearly finished, shove some stuffing in, then continue the running stitch around to the end.
5. Pull the string tight, and push the ruffled top into the middle of the ball, sew the edges shut. Hope that makes sense.
6. Make a whole bunch, toss them into a bucket in the middle of the ‘playing field’, make a rule that as you go in for another bomb take one back with you, so that it can soak for the next person. When set, grab one soggy cloth bomb and lob it at someone to start a WATER FIGHT!


It’s the first day of summer! When I lived in Arizona this was my least favorite season, and that’s putting it mildly. I was relieved when it was over, and dreaded it til it came ‘round again. But now that I live in a milder climate, I look forward to all that summer happily brings! Bright colors, mild weather, fun activities, and endless scrapbooking possibilities!! Below are some of my beloved summer events that I’m can’t wait to take pictures of this summer! Fourth of July happenings, hitting the beach, hopping into a cool pool, and taking off on a road trip! So savor every coming day, Happy Summer to all!

Summertime Otter Pop Holders

While we ARE trying to get unhealthy things out of our kitchen, the pull of summer starting is too strong not to get a box of otter pops. And as usual they are too cold to comfortably hold, I’d never thought of a making a holder, until I saw these really cute otter pop holders at this blog: Pillows A-La-Mode, and had to make some of my own! I just love the idea!

On the blog she used leftover fleece, since I didn’t have any of that I sorted through some scraps until I found a few pieces of thick black corduroy, which I thought would look great with white thread, and so they did! I free handed the designs on the train home from work yesterday…