#CITO 2015

Hello, guys! Don’t know what CITO is? Don’t worry, most muggles don’t. Us geocachers, however, take it very seriously. Not only is it a practice that we live by when we are out searching for caches, we have events every year around this time dedicated exclusively to it. Ok first things first, I might need to explain exactly what geocaching is. Have you ever seen a group of people with smartphones or GPSes crawling through bushes, looking at stop signs, or turning over rocks? I might have been one of those crazy people, but this is quite normal for us geocachers. What exactly is geocaching you ask? I guess the official Geocaching website puts it best… “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” Ok it might sound weird or even boring, but it is sooo much fun. Geocaching appeals to such a wide demographic of people. It doesn’t matter where you live or how old you are… all you need is a smartphone or GPS & a mode of transportation & you are good to go! “Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you. There are 2,607,694 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide.” Being a part of the geocaching community is more than just looking for caches, there are always events where you can meet others who share your passion, share stories, &, back to the original subject of this post, work together to make the world a better place. So what is CITO? It stands for Cache In Trash Out! Geocachers everywhere enjoy this beautiful world while we are out caching. As we search for caches we try to keep it beautiful for those like us, sometimes this means picking up after others who don’t share our philosophies. So this weekend all over the world, geocachers gathered at their local CITO events to do park clean-ups & plant trees. Think I’m exaggerating about the “all over the world”, search #cito on Instagram to see pictures from Germany, Sweden, New Zealand, & so many other countries. Our oldest daughter is on her 8th grade trip to Tennessee & my guy had to work, but my bestie, Liz (Got Cache), myself, & my daughter, Destiny, took part in two CITO events this year. We’ve participated for several years & are always blown away by the amount of trash that people leave to pollute our parks. Some of our CITOing companions did as many as 7 events today! Kudos to all their hard work in this Florida heat!! We might have to add a few more events next year! It is a way to give back & teach our kids the importance of keeping our world clean. Often the cachers hosting the events bring snacks & drinks for those helping out! Fellowship & green living rolled into one big, fun community service event… what could be a better use of our Sunday?

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IMG_3092[1]I’ll be sharing more about geocaching soon, but if this has peaked your interest, check out the website, grab your smartphone, load your friends and/or family in the car, & join the biggest treasure hunt of all time! Spend this summer enjoying this beautiful world working on your tan, getting fresh air & exercise, & making memories with those you love! Have any questions? Feel free to ask me! Already a geocacher? I’d love to hear your experiences! Hope to see you out & about & maybe even at a CITO event next year! By the way, my geocaching handle is destinedforu if you’d like to check me out. 🙂

#Scarecrow Craft Project

 

At the beginning of the year, the parents were asked to sign up for a month to provide & do a craft with my daughter’s 3rd grade class! I signed up for November because I love fall! However in between a planning a birthday party (still haven’t gotten a chance to share that with you but will soon) & our busy life I completely forgot about it… until a week ago when I got an email from the teacher asking what day was good for me. Aaaaa! So I went right to my favorite source of inspiration, Pinterest, and started searching for fall crafts. I found this adorable scarecrow craft project & knew this was it! After a last minute trip to Hobby Lobby & Dollar Tree, I was ready to start prepping the craft kits. The pin I found used craft foam sheets, but I opted for felt with some cardboard backing instead. Interested in a great fall craft to do with your kids or class? Here’s what we did:

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My Scarecrow

Materials:

  • Jumbo Craft Sticks
  • Cardboard
  • White Glue
  • Jute cord (ribbon or yarn would be another good option)
  • Felt (we used brown & orange)
  • Raffia
  • Googly Eyes
  • Marker or Crayon
  • Fall leaves or similar decorations

Directions:

  1. Lay out 5 jumbo craft sticks side by side and and glue them down on a piece of cardboard.
  2. Glue raffia to the top of the craft sticks in a messy fashion to create the scarecrow’s “hair”.
  3. Make your hat: Cut your felt rectangle to the shape of a hat (I added some cardboard to the back ahead of time so it stood up. If you opt for the original craft foam you can skip this step.). Glue down the strip of felt to the hat and add your fall embellishments if you’d like.
  4. Glue your hat to the top of the raffia. (This is the last piece that usually dries, so tell the kids to put a good amount of glue on the rafia, push the hat down firmly, then leave it alone- it will harden, I promise!)
  5. Add your face: Glue down 2 googly eyes. Glue down the triangle nose. Draw a smile with a crayon or marker.

AND YOU’RE DONE!!!

Since I was doing this with 18 3rd graders in a short period of time, I glued the craft sticks to the cardboard, added a jute cord “hanger”, & made the felt hats ahead of time. I used some ziplocs to make some little craft kits to pass out to each student.

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Scarecrow craft kit

Usually we go with “a little goes a long way,” but this craft especially the gluing the rafia & hat to the scarecrow face required loads of glue & even a little weighing down. The kids seemed to thoroughly enjoy making their scarecrow & it wasn’t too time consuming with all the prep work done ahead of time.

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They turned out so cute!

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Although some of the boys’ took a little creepy turn. lol You could definitely see the kids personalities in the finished projects.

The project idea & pin originally came from here. It’s a really neat blog; definitely check it out!! Happy fall!

#Mims Mullet Festival 2014 #Bowling For Junior Achievement

I thought I’d have plenty of time to kick back & relax during my 3 days off… silly me!! It’s been a crazy couple of days between work getting done on my car, a birthday dinner for my mother-in-law, homework, & just life! Don’t get me wrong it has been great, but once again I’ll be starting my work week completely pooped! Today we had a lot of fun events going on starting off with the Mims Mullet Festival. I know that might sound just a little too redneck for some of you, and well you might be right but we always have a blast!

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The carnival style games, face painting, craft booths, car show, & balloon animals might trick you into thinking this is just any normal family event, but this is the Mims Mullet Festival…

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First off the people in Mims, FL are colorful lot! I know; I was born & raised there! These clowns are all decked out in their fancy over-alls!

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You might notice the festival workers are wearing t-shirts with mullets on them… mullets sporting mullets! These fish have missed the memo that their hair-do has thankfully long gone out of style! In case you think I’m just making this up, I took a picture of the kids with the beloved mascots!

While you snack on a fried or smoked mullet feast, you can check out local bands playing or catch the Miss Mullet Pageant! Then take a gander at the huge assortment of baked goods including mullet-shaped sugar cookies & local craft booths! Don’t forget to take part in the mullet toss! The winner takes home a highly coveted golden toilet trophy! It is harder than it looks to hold on to those slimy fish! One year victory will be mine!

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Sadly we had to leave before the contest, but here is a picture from a previous year with our mullet.

After a wonderful free family fun morning, my friend Liz & I headed to meet our Publix family at a charity bowling event to raise money for Junior Achievement!

Bowling for Junior Achievement

Our team Mary’s Moos (our store manager loves black & white cows) took a picture with Plato the Publixaurus while we waited for the bowling to commence.

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Nothing quite like dressing up as cows & having fun with coworkers to support a good cause! Good thing we looked cute because our bowling game could definitely use some improvement!!

I hope you are having a crazy fun weekend like my family is! Stay tuned for more Halloween fun coming your way soon!!

#Brevard Heart Walk 2014

I think it’s important to instill a desire to help others in our young people! Today we participated in the Brevard Heart Walk with our Publix team to raise money for the American Heart Association! This is our first year participating in this walk though we have been walking in our local March of Dimes walk for several years. Not only is it a great cause, but it’s a fun experience as well. Local businesses donate snacks, drinks, & all sorts of goodies which the kids (and myself) love, & we get fresh air & exercise while raising money for research & getting life-saving information to those who need it most!

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Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of all Americans? In fact, someone dies from CVD every 39 seconds! Heart disease also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.  And congenital cardiovascular defects are the most common cause of infant death from birth defects.

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Find your local Heart Walk and get started today! Join your company team, start a team of your own, or join as an individual – whatever you choose, you can make a difference in people’s lives – including your own!

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