s April 2016 - The Kim Six Fix
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Grilled Lemon Chicken and Asparagus Skewers


Grilled lemon chicken and asparagus skewers
Tracking PixelSpring is here and it is finally warm enough to fire up the grill!  I love cooking outside and I especially love skewers/kabobs since they are so easy to eat and cook so quickly.  Today I am teaming up with Foster Farms in order to share this wonderful fresh spring kabob recipe using Foster Farms Organic Chicken and locally farmed organic produce.

Don't forget to follow Foster Farms on Facebook for news, recipes, and more. You can also click here for a money-saving coupon on their organic chicken!


My family actually raved about these Lemon Chicken and Asparagus skewers. The kids love eating anything off a stick, and my husband actually complimented me on the asparagus-lemon flavor profile.  (Not something that happens very frequently at our house!) 

Plus the recipe is a favorite of mine because it is made on the grill (NO DISHES!) and I even marinate the chicken in a bag so, aside from the cutting board, the clean-up is virtually nothing.   

And the best part?  The recipe only has 4 ingredients!
Lemon Chicken Asparagus Kabobs

100+ Easy Container Garden Ideas

Spring is almost here!  So it is finally time to start thinking about our gardens. (Hooray right?!)   I don’t have a ton of yard space in my sliver of California so I am almost exclusively a container gardener.  Therefore I'm teaming up with the All Things Creative team and sharing 100+ Ideas for container gardens.
100 plus Container Gardening Tips and Tricks
Growing your “garden” inside pots or planters is a great option if you live in an apartment or town home and have limited yard space.  Even if you do have a large yard, container gardens are great since they are easy to maintain and don’t require nearly as much water or other resources as in-ground gardens.  (Another perk for us here in drought-stricken California! I am gardening in zone 9 and I am also always trying to be aware of plants that are drought tolerant and need very little water.

So 10 of us Bloggers got together to share 100+ Container Garden Inspiration with you.

Easy DIY Personalized Disney Autograph Books

Easy Personalized DIY Disney Autograph books
I told you a few weeks ago that we were headed to Disneyland.. and we are now back from our trip. The kids had a great time since they love all things Disney, and thanks to Get Away Today we found a GREAT DEAL on our vacation.  I know trips to Disney, especially for large families, can get to be expensive, but I have quite a few tricks up my sleeve for saving money on our Disney vacations.

One of the things I do (besides the tips about bringing our own food and souvenirs) is I also bring our own autograph books.  Meeting the characters for a photo and an autograph is a big part of the Disney experience, and you buy autograph books in the park for $25-30.  Make Your Own Disneyland Autograph books
Of course, for three kids that really adds up, so instead of buying them in the park, I make our own.  Not only is is cheaper, but they are also personalized with the kids names and the date.

I use regular old lined composition notebooks, but if you wanted to do the same thing with a photo album (so you could insert your photos after the fact) you could also do that. Personalized Disney Journals DIY
Customizing them is so easy if you have die cutting machine!

SUPPLIES:

For these versions I used:
Small Composition Notebooks
Silhouette Cameo
Glittered or glossy Cardstock
Permanent vinyl and transfer tape
Craft Glue
Scissors
Pencil


STEP 1:

Trace the cover of the book onto the cardstock.  After doing a bunch of these I realized that the covers are all slightly different sizes so you need to make sure you remember which is the front and which is the back.
Tracing covers for notebooks
I actually cut one side and glued it, then cut the other side in order to keep everything straight. Making your own covers on notebooks

STEP 2:

To attach the covers I spread a thin layer of Craft Bond on the cover of the notebook, added the cardstock and then pressed it flat between heavy books until it dried.  It is most important to have the glue all the way to the edges to prevent the cardstock from peeling up.  If the cardstock is slightly too large you can always trim it down after it has dried to get a perfect edge. How to make custom covers for notebooks

STEP 3: 

Next I grabbed my vinyl scraps and Silhouette Cameo.  Personalizing Jourals with Vinyl
I designed my books by downloading a blank set of Mickey ears and adding text.  Sorry I can’t provide the file since it is copyrighted but if you google “Mickey Ear Silhouette” and load it to your silhouette software it is pretty easy to trace.

The Disney font you want is available on DaFont for free. It is called “Waltograph"Personalizing Disney Autograph Books with Silhouette
I cut, and transferred the vinyl onto the covers and that was that!
Personalizing Disney Autograph Books with Silhouette CameoThese were so fun for the kids.. and they loved the little bit of sparkle.  Not only did they like getting the characters autographs, but they also used the notebooks to draw photos and journal during the trip.
Disney autograph books with your silhouette
A simple inexpensive way to capture the magic memories of your Disney trip!


And don’t miss these other fun Disney Tips I’ve shared before: 


Mickey Bokeh for Night Photography:

How to Rewire a Lamp with an Ikea Hemma Cord Set

Rewire a Lamp with an Ikea Hemma Cord Kit
I recently found this fabulous red metal farmhouse pendant lamp at the Habitat restore.  It was $6 but the wiring was SHOT.  It looks like the bulb had broken off in the fixture and fried it. Plus it was a hardwired pendant, and I wanted a plug in lamp, so I knew I would have to rewire it.

Woven Bowl Turned Desk Lamp Lampshade (Styled x3 Challenge)

Wicker bowl turned lamp shade
Every month Stacy from Not Just a Housewife sends a pair of DIY bloggers a home decor item in the mail and challenges them to create something unique with it.  She calls it the Styled x3 challenge.   (You can see examples of previous challenges at the bottom of her post.) Styledx3 banner
This month she challenged myself and Claire from A Little Clareification to style this hyacinth bowl in our own way.  And you know me.. I needed to bring out the POWER TOOLS!

15 Minute Minky Baby Blanket


Hi friends! Alicia here from Sew What Alicia again with a really fun, quick, and easy baby blanket. If you are like me you think one day at a time and so things sneak up on you! This is a great last minute baby gift that you could whip up before you leave for a shower or even before you leave to meet a new baby!

Supplies: 

Organic vs. Conventional Chicken: Is it really worth it?

Should you be buying organic chicken
If you have been a long time reader of my blog, you may have figured out that I have a pretty great relationship with Foster Farms. They are the the West Coast’s leading producer of Organic Chicken raised without antibiotics or GMOs and the brand of chicken I EXCLUSIVELY buy for my family.  I’ve created nearly a half dozen recipes on their behalf and I honestly love ALL of their products.   So when they asked me if I would be willing to blog about their line of Certified Organic chicken, of course I immediately said ‘sure!’

You may or my not know that before my career as a DIY blogger and stay at home mom I actually was a research scientist with a bachelor's degree in Meat and Animal Science (Yes! That is a real thing!)  I spent more than 15 years at the lab bench and working hands on with poultry and livestock (I spent a few of  my college summers in poultry barns and hatcheries). I also completed coursework in Agricultural Biotechnology right here in the state of California so I am suprisingly qualified to speak about the differences between conventional and organic chicken.
Ag biotech
Of course, I am going to cut right to the chase and answer the question that everyone wants to know:  
Is Foster Farms certified organic chicken really worth it?

Surviving Disney With Toddlers: What To Pack for Your Day At The Parks

What to pack for a toddler at Disney2I am so excited by today’s post because that means a DISNEY trip is in our future!  For spring break this year we are surprising the kids with a trip down to Southern California for a few days at Disneyland.   This will be Josh’s first trip down there and we are so excited about it!

We don’t have to be the only ones heading to Disney!  Scholastic and Disney have teamed up to host the Tiny Travelers Sweepstakes with a chance FOR YOU to win a 4-day, 5 night vacation to the Walt Disney World® Resort for four from Scholastic. Plus the first 25000 entries get a free scholastic book.  You can enter here.
First Trip to Disneyland Personalized Tote Bag2

When we head down at spring break, the girls will be 6 and 10, which are great ages for Disney, and the baby will almost be three.  I know a lot of people think it is too much of a hassle to take toddlers and preschoolers to Disney, but we think the opposite.   We have taken both of the girls to Disney when they were under the age of 5 and the trips have always been wonderful.  At that age, the magic of Disney is even more MAGICAL.  The entire line of Disney parks really does cater to kids of all ages.. even toddlers and preschoolers.

Little kids love meeting the characters and taking in the sights. The other thing that I really love is that the rides geared towards younger kids, as well as many of the characters (like Winnie the Pooh or Eeyore) always have shorter lines.  Not to mention that many of the rides (like the Jungle Cruise or Pirates of the Caribbean) are great for adults but have no height restrictions, which means the entire family can ride.   Disneyland has a list of height requirements for each of the rides and you can see how few rides are actually off limits to the little guys!

Toddler with personalized Disney Tote bag2
The key to a drama-free trip with preschoolers is being prepared. One of the biggest things you can do is expect anything.  Chances are that not everything will go as planned.  You may end up waiting in a line longer than you expected, someone will spill their Dole Whip, or trip and skin a knee while running over to see Lightening McQueen.  Things happen (even at Disney) and in order to keep everyone on track you want to be prepared in order to prevent little things from becoming big disasters.

To ensure that everything goes smoothly I pack a bag for each of the kids for their time in the parks.  It isn’t as important with the older kids, but for the toddler I find most of these things are essential.
What to bring to disney with kids2

Here is what I include:

Stroller/Ribbon:  Bringing your own is my preference (since we always drive down it is easy to bring our own) but if that isn’t possible, there are strollers for rent.  The problem with rented strollers is that they all look the same.  In either case you will want to tie a ribbon or something around the handle to make it easy to find amongst the crowd.  Sometimes cast members will move and arrange strollers, so it may not be where you left it.  It is much easier to pick out a ribbon in a sea of stroller handles.

Water Bottle: You can get water for free at the parks (from soda fountain locations or from drinking fountains near the rest rooms).  Instead of constantly being begged for a drink, I keep the kids bottles full of cold water.

Sunscreen: Even in the winter, you can get a sunburn from the Southern California (or Florida) sun.  This is always a good thing to pack.

Diapers/Wipes: Even if your child is potty trained a change of underwear is a good idea.  Accidents happen, (especially if you get caught in a long line) and having a pair is always better than not.
What to bring to disney with toddlerChange of clothes: I pack an extra pair of socks, pants, short sleeve and long sleeve shirt and sweatshirt.  Depending on the time of year the weather can go from warm to cool.  Having clothing you can layer is a great idea.  Plus, if a slice of pizza ends up splattered on the front, your child won't have to wear a dirty shirt for the rest of the day.

Towel: I bring a towel instead of a blanket since it does double duty.  If the baby falls asleep in the stroller I can use it for shade, if they get wet on a water ride, they can get dried off, if they want to sit on the ground while waiting in line or at one of the shows, they can sit on the towel.  If it gets cold they can use it as a blanket.

Tattoo (or permanent marker): Nothing will make your heart sink faster than losing sight of your child at a crowded amusement park.  Rest assured that Disney parks have AMAZING protocols in place for lost children.  But to make it easier on the cast members (and give you piece of mind) you may want to get a child contact information tattoo.. or just write your cell phone number on your child's arm in permanent marker, especially if they are too young to know their own phone number. (You can remove the writing at the end of the trip with nail polish remover)

Autograph Book: Often kids will get scared when meeting costumed characters for the first time.   Having an autograph book is a good way to of give them a chance to connect with the character without having to hug or touch them.  My kids like to just hand over the book and let them sign.  it is less scary than having a giant mouse give them a hug.  Especially If your older kids have autograph books, you want to make you have one for your preschooler… even if they don’t want to meet characters.  You may also want to include a few crayons in your bag, so they can color in the book on their own.
What to bring to disneyland2

1st Aid Kit/BandAids: Disney does have first aid stations in the park, but for simple ‘owies’ like skinned knees or little cuts (even imaginary ones) you won’t want to trek across the park to find one.  Having bandaids in your diaper bag can quickly fix the ouch!

Snacks: Nothing makes a cranky toddler happier than a handful of fish crackers or fruit snacks.  You want to pack things that are easy to eat, and tend to be okay in the heat unless you also want to bring a small soft-sided cooler.  I tend to just bring things like pretzels or crackers and avoid the need to keep them cool.

Books: Giving the kids distractions while waiting in ride lines or for meal service is important to preventing meltdowns.

Souvenirs: Disney can be overwhelming to a toddler since they will want to get their hands on everything they see.  Store after store filled with surprises and treats that they will want RIGHT THAT SECOND. Unlike older children who more easily understand “we will get something later” smaller kids don’t understand delayed gratification.  That is why I tend to pack a few small souvenirs for every day of the trip. Not only is this a great way to encourage and reward good behavior, it is also a fun distraction.  The other benefits of bringing your own vs. buying souvenirs in the park is getting exactly the characters your kids want.  If your child loves Tow-Mater, but you are in the middle of Princess territory it may be tough to find the exact souvenir you are hoping for.  Having small toys picked out and hidden away in your bag  (to pull out as a surprise) is a great trick, plus you will save a few bucks.  It is easy to say ‘no' to the souvenir stand when you know you have a hidden surprise in the bag!

Medications: (If necessary) If your child takes any medicines during the day, don’t forget to bring them!

Rain Jacket or Parka: (Optional) Check the weather forecast for the day.. Even if it only calls for a 10% chance of rain, you would rather have some protection from the rain than not!
Packing Books for Disneyland trip2

If you are still nervous about traveling with preschoolers, Scholastic has put together this Ultimate Preschool Travel Guide with some fantastic advice about the dos and don’ts of traveling with young children. Scholastic is a leader in children’s literature, and if anyone is familiar with keeping children happy, it is them!


And if you are looking for other tips and tricks for Disneybl.. make sure you don't miss these previous posts:

Mickey Bokeh for Night Photography:



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Disney. The opinions and text are all mine.

 
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