Fun Things To Do This Summer (Get Your Summer On): Tubing

August 22, 2014

Hey! The summer's not quite over yet! And honestly, you can still do summer things after school starts as long as it's warm. But I wanted to share another summer activity that we've discovered. Tubing! I don't know why we've never done this before. You can do it with your kids or even without!
We went twice this year. The first time the kids sat in tubes with a hole in the middle. Although they were more "classic" tubing I wouldn't recommend that kind of tube unless it's in the 90s and the water is warm. The second time we brought this somewhat obscene inner tube that all the kids could sit in (see below) In case you're wondering I bought it on sale at for only $35 with free shipping. For some reason it's back up to $54 now. But the kids loved it and it kept them from freezing in the icy cold creek.
If you live in Central Pennsylvania and are curious, we rode on the Yellow Breeches Creek starting at the covered bridge at Messiah College and going to the next stop 2.5 miles away at Simpson Park. To get 2.5 miles by innertube it takes about 2 hours. So if the water is cold you can imagine how uncomfortable that would be for a kid. That's why I recommend the closed hole tubes.
We adults sat in these tubes from 5 Below. For only $5 it was a pretty amazing tube! It had a back to rest our heads on and no center hole. The only thing I'd change was that it lacked was a cup holder. However, the second time we went out we brought this handy little cooler float which did have cup holders. I bought for only $10 from Walmart. And if you want the perfect sized cooler to fit inside I recommend this one from Amazon. It fit like a glove. The cooler would be great if you were doing an adult-only run and wanted somewhere to keep your beer and wine coolers cold.
You should choose a river or stream that has some decent current. You don't want to go half a mile in one hour. Also, a stream that has a few riffles and rapids keep things interesting. Check out our little adventure below.

The Yellow Breeches also has a rope swing. If you know of a place that's frequented by tubers you will often find nice little hidden gems like this. If you don't know of any good places I recommend checking out Swimming It has official and unofficial swimming holes, creeks, rivers and etc listed by state.

One big tip that I can't emphasize enough is to all have water shoes. There are so many times that you have to get up and out of your float for one reason or another and the bottom of a creek or river is an awful place for bare feet. They sell water shoes at Walamart and 5 below for only $5.
Another big tip if you have kids is to bring a rope. I really can't imagine going tubing without a rope, especially if you have kids. If someone is about to run into a tree branch or if someone is floating a lot faster than everyone else it's nice to be able to reel them in without having to get out of your tube. Sometimes a creek can be chest deep even for an adult.
One more tip is to maybe bring a paddle. I say maybe because you can certainly do tubing without one. We didn't use a paddle the first time and made it. Plus it's kind of cumbersome. But the second time we took one and it did help a lot.
If you'd like to try tubing too plan out your trip beforehand. Remember you'll have to take two cars. One at the end of the trip and one to get to the beginning. And DON'T forget your keys for your car at the end of the trip or you'll be calling a cab to get back to your car at the beginning of the trip.
Another thing you might not think about is getting the tubes there and bringing them back. If you have two trucks and can toss them in the back then it's a no-brainer but who has two trucks? If you have two minivans or SUVs that can also work but only if you are transporting no more than four people and can fit all your inflated tubes in the back. If you don't have a vehicle that can fit inflated tubes and passengers at the same time it's a double problem because you need something to blow them up when you get there and then something to deflate them on your way back. I recommend bringing an electric pump and either finding a spot with electricity to inflate and deflate your tubes or buying an AC/DC converter for your car and plugging in your pump that way.
Lastly, if you're in deeper water and you have kids of course have them wear a life vest. The first time we went out I had Molly wear one. The second time I didn't. The Yellow Breeches ended up never being more than waist deep and we were always only a couple feet away from them. That being said, an adult tubing solo on the Yellow Breeches did drown a few years ago so even if you know how to swim and the water isn't deep anything can happen so it's always best to go with a friend or better yet....FRIEND"S" plural;-)

Coffee Filter Garland

August 14, 2014

I am partnering with Dollar Tree to promote the Value Seekers Club. All opinions are my own.
A very simple and easy way to dress up a party is with simple coffee filters purchased at your local Dollar Tree! A coffee filter garland creates a vintage homemade party look while also being easy and fun to make. I found this idea and a few more clever projects on Dollar Tree’s Value Seekers Club! It's a club full of crafts, recipes, d├ęcor, tips, contests, insider information, frugal fun ideas, and more! Membership is Free! Content changes each month! Project sheets can be saved or printed which makes it easy to bring to the store as a shopping list. I definitely recommend a look-see!
To get the tutorial for this project check out Dollar Tree's Value Seekers Club! I've found that there are two ways to color the filters but I'll cover the kid-friendly version first. This is the way we made ours. Please check out Dollar Tree's Value Seekers Club for the full instructions. I'll give you some tips that we found to be helpful.

I took my coffee filters and laid them out in the grass. I recommend the grass because the food coloring will stain a deck or cement. I also recommend laying them out in small stacks of 7-10 filters. It's somewhat tedious to lay them out one by one. Also, they fly away more easily when they're not stacked.
Plus, I found that my kids tended to over spray the filters which will work to your advantage when they're in groups. I had to turn them over and spray the backs later.
If I had to do it over again I think I'd also mix the colors. A few of our filters became mixed and it created an interesting watercolor look. Really, you can't go wrong with the spray bottles.

An alternate way to color the filters is to fill a bowl with colored water and take all the filters at once and place them in the water until they are all saturated. Then remove them from the water and separate them into thin stacks of 7-10 and lay them outside overnight to dry. This way is a bit simpler but not as fun!

Once the filters were dry we grabbed a few stacked together (between 7-10) and used a pair of scissors to cut a hole in the center.
Try this project our yourself and let me know how it goes. Enjoy!

I am giving away a $50 Dollar Tree gift card to one of my readers. To enter just use the Rafflecopter form below or leave a comment and I’ll pick a random winner.

Diaper Wipes Matching Game

August 8, 2014

Saw this today and thought it was a great idea! Get the full tutorial at Three Ghost Friends. Thought it would be even cuter if you used the faces of your immediate family instead of the pictures.

Place Wedding In Kauai. Pictures via Kahahawai Photography

August 7, 2014

Just got our wedding pictures back which turned out terrific! Here are a few of the photos. I won't bore you with all of them but I would really like to share a few which shows a little peak into our special day. Our photographer was Christian Pi’ikaiokalani Kahahawai of Kahahawai Photography. If you're ever getting married in Kauai I highly recommend him. His work is excellent and his rates are very reasonable. Here he is with his assistant Jen. Both were lovely to have in attendance. (Note: Blogger really over saturates a few uploaded photos. It's so annoying. Something about an auto-enhance feature which I've disabled but doesn't change anything. The originals aren't as saturated. Here's a little background on blogger doing that.)

Getting ready.

First look.



After dinner.

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