Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Our Favorite Books

This post uses pictures from some of our other book review posts, but mostly because I'm updating our favorite book opinions.
Dude isn't interested in Percy Jackson anymore, but he likes the book Jinx's Magic. Baby Girl (Me!) likes the Wings of Fire books. I've read the first twelve books two times each!
Dude still likes Fox Trot and Garfield, but Baby Blues comic books are high on my list.
I still like National Geographic Kids, but Dude doesn't receive LEGO Club anymore.
I'm the only one of us two who still likes to break out the little kid books, and all of the ones pictured above and below are still often read.
Fly Guy books are still fun to read too, because the drawings are always cool to look at.
Dude hasn't read this book in a while, but he enjoys books like My Side of the Mountain.

We still love reading as much as we used to, we just enjoy different books now.

What are your favorite books?

Baby Girl

Monday, February 3, 2020

How to Think Like a Dog

Dogs know how to live the good life. They mostly eat, drink, and sleep. Follow their example, and you'll be living the good life too. (This post is approved by our dog.)
Dog way #1: Sit on people when you rest or nap. They're a lot comfier than wood or tile.
Dog way #2: Wear only non-ridiculous clothes that humans dress you up in. Shake it off if it's unacceptable. Always wear sunglasses when you're laying in the sun.
Dog way #3: Show off your bedhead when you're staying home all day. If you're going for a car ride though, groom yourself.
Dog way #4: Sleep, sleep, sleep. Conserve your energy for playing with other dogs or humans. Sleeping also recharges your batteries.
Dog way #5: Sleep with a buddy, whether it be another dog or a favorite toy. They'll keep you warm and give you sweet dreams.
Our dog suggests these ideas, but other dogs can help you find more dog ways!

Tell me your favorite dog way!

Baby Girl 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Dude and Baby Girl's Seafood Post

If the title wasn't enough, this post is about seafood. There are two different "parts" of this seafood adventure. Part one is the food from a restaurant called Down and Dirty Seafood Boil. It's a place devoted to seafood and eating it messy. So messy, in fact, that you have to wear bibs! Part two is about a snack our dad brought back from Taiwan.
Part one: The food below comes to your table in the bag it was boiled in, and it's almost as hot as when they cooked it. We ordered a bag containing five pounds of mussels, shrimp, corn, and potatoes. The food at Down and Dirty is ordered by the pound, but crabs are an exception.
Dude loves seafood, so he was very happy to see all those underwater creatures. Baby Girl is not as fond of it as Dude.
Dude particularly loves jumbo shrimp, but mussels come in a close second.
We also ordered a Dungeness crab to share. Even Baby Girl, who actually likes imitation crab, agreed that crab legs taste better than the rest of the body. The legs were gone very quickly.
Dude even tried some of the meat from the crab's pincer. Baby Girl tried a little, too. We both agreed pincer meat is even better than leg meat!
Part two: Part one was a bit long, but this one is shorter. We don't know the name of the snack because the words were all written in a foreign language. One part of the snack was dried minnows. Yes, you read that right. Dried minnows. Dude loved it and ate quite a few. Baby Girl was not so impressed and spit it out in the garbage.
The other half of the snack is almonds. Minnows and almonds. It's a real snack. That people eat. Gross, right? (Dude loved the almonds just as much as the minnows, but Baby Girl spit them out like the fish. She said they tasted like the minnows.)
If you look on the bottom corner of the bag, there's a food wheel showing you where the fish and almonds fit into your diet.
What sort of odd seafood have you eaten? Did you like it? Tell us!

Dude and Baby Girl

Monday, January 6, 2020

How To Make Model DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a strange and amazing thing. It carries genes and genetic codes, is so small you have thousands of copies of it, and is made up of a bunch of different parts. With this fun experiment you can make a larger and much more edible version of DNA. To start, you will need two ropes of licorice in your favorite flavor and four different colors of marshmallows. Pick one marshmallow color for cytosine, one for guanine, and so forth for adenine and thymine. You will also need a box of toothpicks. Lay your materials out on a sheet or two of clean paper towel.
Make piles of marshmallows, with your colors for guanine with cytosine in one, and your colors for adenine and thymine in another. Stick one color on one end of the toothpick and its pair on the other. I made ten of these barbell shaped "ladder rungs", with five of each pair. With your licorice sticks carefully aligned, push each marshmallow about 1/4 inch (5 mm.) down the toothpick, toward the center. Stick the toothpick into one end of your licorice stick. Push the other licorice stick onto the other end of the toothpick. Continue this method until you've placed the last marshmallow rung.
When you're finished, twist your licorice ladder into a double helix shape.
The finished dna will look like this.
If you want your DNA strand to be longer, make another one. I made one to share with Dude.
This edible DNA ladder might not last as long as the real stuff, so be sure to eat it in a day or two. It will start to get hard after that.
Your DNA is finished! I made my model based off the one in the Curious Jane book I got from a library.

Baby Girl

Monday, December 23, 2019

Creating a Lego World

If you've been wondering how to professionally (or kinda professionally) set up and photo shop your Lego pictures, this is the post for you. My pictures are based on fairy tales, but yours can be on anything you want.

The picture below is based on Red Riding Hood. To get the "magical" forest appearance, I used brown pieces, greenery, flowers, and random colorful round pieces. I created the path with gray studs. The background and foreground were made from colored construction paper.
The picture below is from Jack and the Beanstalk. The house in the background is from our How to Make a Lego Forest Cottage post. The beanstalk is made from large green pieces in front of a farm (made from carrot tops and green pieces with round holes). Construction paper was used in every photo for the back/foregrounds.
Can you guess this one? The Lord of the Rings! The figures are from a Hobbit Lego set, and the wall is simply black and gray Lego pieces.
This one is either the princess from Brave, Cinderella, or Snow White. I couldn't get it right because I didn't have the torso or skirt that seemed right. The cottage is from a big box of Lego bricks I got as a gift, the bears and hair on the princess are from a Brave Lego set,  and the dress pieces are from various princess sets.
As you can see, we used a light to get the mood for this photo just right. This is based off of the Hobbit book series, with a Hobbit Lego set. Both can be browsed through the links in the Lord of the Rings photo. Notice how the Lego figures outside the house are lower than the figure inside, so you can still see him.
This one is obviously Ariel, or The Little Mermaid. We kept this one simple, with only the bare elements. The only things we used were the princess, a tan pad, Lego junk, and a sea star.
Thanks for reading my post on how to create a Lego world! I had so much fun writing this and playing with my Legos. I hope you have fun making your own Lego scenes and pictures!

Did you make a really cool Lego picture? I'd love to see it!

Baby Girl

Friday, December 20, 2019

How to Make Your Own Doughnuts

Do you like donuts?  I sure do!  The following recipe is one my favorites.  It came from the book The Doughnut Cookbook. This recipe is for the chocolate doughnuts, but there are bunches of other recipes in the book.  To make the doughnuts, you will need:

  • Nonstick baking spray
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (2% milk mixed with a little heavy cream works, too)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or baker's extract

To make the doughnuts, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, or to 350 degrees on convection setting.  Spray the rounds of your doughnut pan with nonstick baking spray.

In a medium to large size bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder (still optional), baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a liquid measuring cup, stir the buttermilk and whole milk together.  Set the milk mixture aside.

In the empty bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on a medium speed for about two minutes.  Use a spatula to scrape down anything on the sides of the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla/ baker's extract to the egg and sugar mixture.  Beat everything for one minute.

With the stand mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three dumps, adding the milk mixture after the first flour addition, and before the last.  After adding an ingredient, beat until just blended.

Pour about two tablespoons batter into each round of the doughnut pan that you prepared in the first step.  Put the pan(s) in the oven to bake, rotating them 180 degrees halfway through, for ten minutes.  If you stick a toothpick in them, and it comes out clean, they are done.  Allow them to cool for five minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a cooling rack to completely cool off.

To make the glaze you will need:

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or baker's extract
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.  Dip the doughnut's top halves in, one at a time, until every doughnut is glazed.  Another method is to use a spoon and drizzle glaze over the doughnuts while they are on a cooling rack.  Once the doughnuts are glazed, you can put sprinkles on them, if you want.  They are just as tasty without!  Eat the doughnuts once the glaze is dry, or if you don't eat them all, they will stay fresh for about a week in an airtight container at room temperature.  Have fun making and eating these doughnuts!

What is your favorite flavor of doughnut?  I'd love to know!

Baby Girl

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Lochwood Estate

Dude has the Lochwood Estate LEGO set from the new Jurassic World movie.  Our dog, Ranger, dressed up as a dog-o-saur and made some new friends with the LEGOs.  Don't you think he blends in?

In the photo above, Ranger poses for the camera with his new carnivorous friends.

Ranger the safety guard makes sure LEGO Blue doesn't fall off the roof.  Now that's a good dog!  Um... I mean dog-o-saur.

Ranger is taking his security position very seriously, so he checks on LEGO girl Maisie while she cleans her room.

Awww... isn't that sweet?  Ranger nuzzles his new friend, but Blue has to be careful.  Kibble breath can be lethal!

What does your pet do with new toys?  Tell me!

Baby Girl