Thursday, January 24, 2013

Veggie-Stamped Lupe the Lupine: A Girl Scout Daisy Craft

 So this is a radish ten little girls used to stamp Lupe the Lupine.

Who is Lupe the Lupine? Lupe is one of the flowers in the Girl Scout Daisy garden. Each flower in the garden represents a characteristic from the Girl Scout Law. Lupe represents honesty and fairness. As part of our meeting designed for the girls to earn the light blue Lupe patch, we had a craft dedicated to dear Lupe the Lupine.

Meet Lupe:

This is a coloring book we created when we were learning the Girl Scout Law.

If you follow me on Instagram or on Pinterest (two fairly new endeavors for me), you might have noticed I have been posting a lot of Girl Scout Daisy schtuff. That's because I am a new troop leader, with ten little girls in tow, exploring my way through each patch.

So I try to come up with crafts that are age appropriate (5/6 years, kindergarten) that are fun and quite frankly not too much of a mess. I had heard of people stamping with potatoes and when I looked at Lupe, she sort of looked like a collection of stamped potatoes. I ended up getting a bag of radishes too because they were on sale and I thought they might add some variety to the shape and size of her petals.

So as you can see, there was really no difference between the potato and the radish. But despite this minor fact, this craft was a big winner with the girlies!

So we basically used ink pads designed for kids, halves of potatoes and radishes and crayons. I found some watercolor paper packed away in the mess I call my craft room, thinking the thickness of the paper would be best for a stamping project with kids.

I was right.

This was the perfect mess-free fun and interesting craft that kept my Daisies engaged and sad when we had to pack up to leave!

Meet the potato- and radish-stamped Lupe:

Ok, so drawing was never really my strong suit.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

BlogHer Book Club Review: The Willpower Instinct, By Kelly McGonigal

Willpower is seen as our toughest enemy. It strikes when we are at our weakest, when our stressors are high and our resolve low. But is willpower something we can control? Is willpower only for the strongest and the most virtuous? After years of seeing the idea of willpower sabotage her students, health psychologist, Kelly McGonical, decided to take a deeper look into the science of willpower.

The Willpower Instinct is a self-help book; its premise lies on the theory that any hurdle you are trying to jump requires willpower. The difference between this book and other self-help willpower books though is that McGonical believes you can control your willpower and that despite what challenges you face throughout the day, in the end you have the ability to influence and ultimately change your willpower.

McGregor believes that "....willpower is a biological instinct, like stress, that evolved to help us protect ourselves from ourselves. Her mode of teaching is through example. Throughout the book she urges you to take a closer look at yourself throughout the day, as a third-party observer to help you see how you can easily control your willpower.

She believes willpower is like a muscle that needs exercise to get stronger. If we don't exercise our willpower very often, we have little to no control over it; but if we are continually using our willpower, the stronger we become. She also thinks that if we associate willpower with virtue, it gives us permission to be bad and instead we need to focus on goals and values to be successful. (I did so good eating this week, I am going to give myself permission to be bad and pig out on Saturday.)

Overall, I found that the ideas in this book tend to be the same from other self-help books: fuel up on good food, forgive yourself, wait ten minutes before giving in to temptation, take a closer look at the people you surround yourself with, suppressing something (like cravings) make you want it more. One thing of note: The takeaways at the end of each chapter provide solid, do-this advice.

With all of that said, I'm not sure how "ground-breaking" this book is, but if you're looking for a fresh approach on an old topic, this book may be for you.

To see what other bloggers thought about this book and to join discussions, visit the BlogHer Book Club page.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year Pinterest!

Happy New Year! I hope the year 2013 brings you good health and happiness.  I also hope that the new year doesn't bring you Paula Cole in the form of Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? like it has for me. Yesterday morning I woke up humming, Where is my marlboro man? Where is his shiny gun?

And it really sort of freaked me out. I blame my daughter's birthday invitations. I had to run to Michaels on New Year's Eve for some double-sided tape and as I was innocently perusing the sticker aisle, someone cranked this song over the speaker system. It was loud. So I really had no choice but to sing it as I tried to decided which crab sticker I wanted to purchase.

And it hasn't left my head since. While I was chopping onions for the perogies that night, I hummed, I will do the laundry, if you pay all the bills. As I was waiting for my husband to decide whether or not he was going to buy Park Place in our game of Monopoly, I couldn't stop myself from busting out with Where is my John Wayne? Where is my prairie song? Where is my happy ending? Where have all the cowboys gone?

I'm really hoping this song does not follow me the whole year.

Speaking of following, hey, have you heard of this thing called Pinterest? Yeah, so sometimes I have a hard time embracing new fads and Pinterest has definitely been one of them; I was so afraid of signing up for something that was going to just suck my time away. I've heard lots of horror stories about how people spend all day on Pinterest and then actually never do anything.

Basically I am in love. Yes, I am in love with a page on the Internet. The good news is I've already made a few projects I have pinned.


Here they are:

Super Cute Teacher Starbucks Gift Cards

These turned out pretty cute considering I was making them at 6:00 am on the Friday morning of the last day of school before winter break. I meant to assemble them the night before, but that was the night of my parent meeting for my new Girl Scout troop and it completely slipped my mind. Luckily the next morning, my eyes popped open and all I could think of was Starbucks gift cards.

Girl Scout Daisy Bookmark

As I mentioned above, I am in the process of starting up a new Girl Scout troop for my little K-level Daisy. And since it was near the holidays, I decided to give the girls a "welcome-to-the-troop" gift. These bookmarks turned out so cute and I finally learned how to use my Xyron 900, which by the way, is the coolest machine on Earth. I'm finding it hard to stop laminating things.

Mike: Why are you laminating my business cards?

Me: Duh. Because it's so cool.

Twisted Pipe Cleaner Place Markers

I saw these and thought they would be an easy and cute way to mark everyone's seat for Christmas dinner. I was right again. I used pink and white so it matched my Christmas decor. I didn't have an actual picture of them, but you can sort of see them in this picture of my niece modeling her new robe and feigning awe at her pipe cleaner place marker.

Merry Christmas Green and Red Layer Cake

Last but not least: the awesome holiday-colored red and green layer cake. This cake doubled as a birthday cake for three out of our nine guests. I love stupid stuff like this, just love it!

So there are my Pinterest completed projects to-date. Follow me and join in the fun!

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