Chair Towel

{Chair Towel}
Its as easy at sewing a straight line.  Really. And we've loved ours this summer. 

Just fold over the towel from the top about 12-14" (right sides together) and then sew right down the edges! Tip: Sew about 1/2" in so you don't brake a needle trying to get thought the ends of the towel.

And let the wind blow!  You're towel will stay put & claim your chairs at the same time! They also fold up into each other pretty nicely.

{Water Lovers}
And in other news...we'll be playing catch up on the blog for the summer.

Love ya!

Back to School Gear 2012

{Heading Back}
I might just dread the boys going back to school more now than when I was in school!  And when I say boys...I do mean all of my boys, including the husband!  The end of summer just about does me in every year, darn it!

However, there a few fun products out there to help us get excited to get back into the education track.  These are the items that I'll be reviewing on KSL CH5 at the end of the 12 Noon news.  My favorite and one our family can't live without is the Sound Oasis Sleep Therapy System. LOVE IT. 

Here you go!

1).  Airbac ( – backpack that makes things easier to carry and protects contents

First and only backpack on the market with patented, built-in air cushion technology, alleviating back stress and making wearers feel as if they are carrying half the weight or less.  Also protects contents of backpack with a cushion of air. $49.99 and up.

2).  Sachi Fashion Lunch Handbags ( – stylish insulated handbag-style lunch bags

Sachi Lunch Handbags are insulated, fashionable lunch bags, great for school. Stylish and roomy enough to double as a handbag, while effectively keeping food hot or cold as desired. Easily wipes clean with a damp cloth. Handles fold down for easy fit in the refrigerator. Zips closed and handles fold down to the sides so that you may lay it flat, allowing for easy refrigerator storage. Comes in a variety of styles and colors. Retails for $9.99 - $25.99.

3).  Nufoot ( – waterproof indoor-outdoor neoprene footwear

Nufoot is the first and only neoprene footwear, great for use in dorms and around campus.  Waterproof, super-stretchy, easy to clean and sturdy enough to wear every day.  Additional features include ergonomic designs and anti-skid soles.  Comes in multiple sizes and colors.  $9.99/pair

4).  Sound Oasis ( – sleep therapy sound system
Sound Oasis is a unique sound and tinnitus therapy product that allows users to create their very own sound environment conducive to relaxation, sleep and improvement of everyday life. Sound Oasis effectively blocks out irritating noises, helps circumvent tinnitus discomfort, creates a peaceful atmosphere, helps users fall asleep easier and get higher quality sleep and feel more alert the next day.  59.99

Good luck with school!
Emily AKA Toad

Yummy Watermelon Drink

{So Easy}
Hope you are enjoying these last few weeks of summer! 

Ever wonder what to do with the leftover cut up watermelon that gets forgotten about in the fridge? My mom  made this yummy watermelon drink with it & I had to share...

All you do is blend up that soggy watermelon & add a lemon-lime drink!  {See, I told you it was easy.}

Its almost too good to be true...

I have to admit I was skeptical, but my taste buds were very happy after this refreshing drink!   So the next time you cut up that watermelon be sure to blend some up! Yum!

Emily aka Toad:)

Adventuring in the Forest: Camping Crafts & Kicks!

{Camping with Young Kids}
If you've done it than you know that its always great to a have a few "fun" prepared activities when you need them.  If you're looking for a few ways to keep the younger crew busy here's a few ideas!

Paper Bag Journal & Make it Yourself Pens
I threw this together on the fly, but it was quite the hit...especially for our little cousin Lucy (5).  And I must admit that this little craft also came with a bit of an exterior motive...I wanted Ethan (7) to "journal" a bit aka practice writing during the summer break!:) 

I just took a paper bag and cut long the sides of it.  I cut some lined paper to fit inside the width and length of the bag and then stuck it inside.  I hole punched through and then grabbed some twine to keep it together.  All of this was done at the campsite...last minute Toad style! :)

I loved how the bag folds from 3 sides to make the little journal.  So did Lucy.  (Love her.)

Grabbing a "make a pen" kit from my dad's art/craft/business/studio room was another hit.  He got them on sale at a craft store (who knows where) and the kids brought these plastic tubes to life! (Lucy is using the one she made in the picture above & Trey is holding one in the picture below.)

Trey even went organic and put little rocks inside of his.  (I just keep telling the boys they are never too old or cool to craft it up...and they usually do love it. :)

Dollar store bingo.

The trick to make any game more fun it to have cool treat bags for winning.

Putting the bags together was another fun activity for Trey and Ethan.  They loved working with the candy, and I loved the help...and doing a little project with them!

And it brought all the kids to the table...and a little Toad too! (Picture taken by Tanya...Thanks Tan!)

Finger puppet play.  We never got around to it, but what a fun little stage!

Oh, um...and here's another fun vacation treat...that doesn't require any planning:) This is my big splurge on vacation.  :)

The bike. Fun anywhere, but super fun camping.

 Roasting.  (my mom and I giggled as we realized that when Aidan came to the table to get marshmallow to roast...he didn't even care what size.:)

Lakeside whiffle ball.  (please don't ask me why my brother Peter is in a towel for the big game...:)

The water. Great for fishing...


catching Salamanders,


 swimming and sitting on the "Relaxation Station", 


or whatever.

{Little Loving}
Of course loving our little ones should be done anywhere, but its especially fun when you're on an adventure.

Ah, such fun adventures.  And Happy Trails to you!

Love, A Tree Lovin' Toady

Whales, Crabs, & My Fisher-Mom

{Whale Watching}
There's nothing like being out on the water.  I know, spoken like a true Toad.  But really...a good boat ride is great for the mind, body, and spirit.   Its also great when you are on the prowl for a few whales.

If you've never been on a whale hunt before, I'll fill you in.

In these fishing communities in Oregon you can pay a small fee (like $10-20) to get on a nice little hour boat ride and go look for some whales. But its not like going to the zoo.  At the zoo the animals are pretty much always there when you want to see them...whales have a whole ocean to play you cross your fingers every time you go out!

While getting ready for this excursion, my dad told Ethan a story about me and whale watching...not sure if its a fish tale, but we'll go with it. 

Evidently when I was 6 or so we went out on a boat to find whales.  We weren't having much luck, but then a nice, big, fatty whale came right up next to the boat came up out of the water and blew his spout.  According to my dad it really freaked me out and I wanted to go back to land.  Sounds like it could have happened...all I remember is needing to go to the bathroom. :)

Dad's boating days are long gone.  He gets super sick on a boat (probably the closest thing to what I feel like for 4 months when I'm pregnant), so he sat this trip out.  It was Mom, Ethan, Aidan, & I with the wind wisping through our hair!

The boat captain was pretty confident that we'd see some whales. A little whale had been spotted just off the coast about an hour or so earlier, and within10 minutes we got to the area he had been seen.

Just when we got there, I looked out over the water and I thought I saw a whale spout about 200 yards away! The captain heard me and headed the direction I was pointing. Then it spouted again! This time I was grateful  my mom saw it too...otherwise I would have felt pretty silly...especially because that was the last we saw of the whale!

The captain said usually they come up for air every 3- we waited. And waited. And waited. Darn it. Then he told us that sometimes they can take a big breath and swim 1/2 mile away.   And that's what this whale must have done.

So we just enjoyed the ride...

and also enjoyed bugging the sea lions sitting on a local buoy.

Maybe next time we'll catch a glimpse of a big whale.   But if not, that's okay too.  Feeling like a free spirit out on the open waves isn't so bad.  I think I could be a fisherman and like it...for the most part.:)

And as we got off the boat onto the dock we saw crab like we've never seen before.  A fishing boat had just come back and was "gutting" the crab. I'm pretty sure its not an official term, but you get the idea.  In order for them to be "keepers" in Oregon they have to be 5 3/4" across the shell & male.  (There could be a number of jokes made about only eating the males, but I'll resist the urge.:)

Which leads us to this...

{My Mom's Crabs}:)
For those that my follow my blog, you may remember that a few posts back my mom shot a mole that was in  the front field.  Yes, she is quite the woman. So it shouldn't surprise you when I tell you she went on a fishing boat with a group of people to catch some fish and came back with this...

12 crab (the limit) and 1 nice big fatty Chinook Salmon. Yum. She also came back with some fun stories...and one involved beating a man to a fishing pole to pull in a Salmon.  Love it.

The 1st thing she did when she got back was sit down at the table and eat some crab. In fact, we all did.  And it was fresh and yummy.

Ethan especially loved it. He loves crab.  I know, a kid who loves crab. I don't even think I started liking crab until I was 25.

And these crab legs didn't even need crackers.  When they are that fresh you can rip right through the shells without any tools.

Double yum.

And that Salmon wasn't bad either.  Dad grilled that baby right up with a few spices and we devoured it.  Wish you all could have tried some!!

Thanks for sharing your treasures mom. 

{Look Out}
And be on the look for this mask little man. He turns 4 this week...

-A boat ride lovin' Toad.:)

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