Tag Archives: kids

LEGO KidsFest – Event Details and Giveaway

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Two years ago, we had an amazing, fun day at Lego KidsFest. Sweet Hippie Daughter spent the day in a fit of creative fever. Handsome Hippie Hubby and I may have built a new creation (or twelve) as well. That’s why I am thrilled to share that…

Award-winning LEGO KidsFest is coming back to Cleveland!

November 4-6 we will be heading back to the land of imagination, and I can’t even wait until J-Rex sees the giant LEGO brick pile. He’s going to lose his mind. It’s going to be awesome.

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The very best part?

YOU GET TO GO, TOO!

Check out all the details below, including a chance to win FREE tickets! You’re going to want to get your tickets ASAP. Previous events have been known to sell out.

What can you expect at the event?

The award-winning LEGO KidsFest Ohio returns to Cleveland’s I-X Center from Nov. 4 – 6, 2016.
Those who attended the previous show can once again expect hands-on building, creative experiences and one-of-a-kind activities. Children of all ages and builders of all skills and levels are welcome.

LEGO KidsFest features dozens of new activities and popular favorites on the three-acre show floor.

New activities for this year’s visit include LEGO Mindstorms, LEGO Movie, LEGO Disney Princess, the Mixels, a LEGO Superheroes area and more.

lightningmcqueenOther events include:

* LEGO Model Museum: dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
* Race Ramps: build a custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
* LEGO Star Wars: build and display a Star Wars model
* Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
* LEGO DUPLO: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
* LEGO Retail: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods
* Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
* Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
* LEGO Friends: build for the five empowered friends from Heartlake City
* LEGO Ninjago: spin the way to being a Spinjitzu member
* LEGO Mindstorms: build and program robots and snakes
* LEGO Technic: get hands-on with the cool, realistic vehicles at the booth
* LEGO Disney Princess: create a princess scene to add to a LEGO story book

“We’re thrilled to be returning to the Cleveland area,” said Vince Rubino, Events Manager for LEGO Systems, Inc. “We’ve got a host of new activities as well as some areas we know are very popular with our fans. Not only will families create some new memories at the show, they’ll get another chance to flex and showcase their building skills. This event is a must for the true LEGO fan.”

Five sessions – all identical and 4 1/2 half hours in length – are held at each tour stop. LEGO KidsFest tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

Tickets are $19 for the Friday and Sunday afternoon sessions, and $22 for both sessions on Saturday and the Sunday morning session.

On tour since 2009, previous LEGO KidsFest tour stops have included major cities such as Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta, San Jose, Cleveland, Richmond, Phoenix, Portland and more.

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FUN FACTS

More than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced since 1949.
The LEGO minifigure represents the world’s largest population of people! More than four billion minifigures have been produced in the last 30 years. This is almost 12 times the population of the United States!
LEGO minifigures are out of this world, literally. The two Mars Rovers have an image of the LEGO minifigure etched into their front grill.
Approximately seven LEGO sets are sold each second.
There are about 62 LEGO bricks for every one of the world’s six billion inhabitants.
Laid end to end, the number of LEGO bricks sold in a year would reach more than five times around the world.
There are 915 million ways to combine six eight-stud LEGO bricks.
Children around the world spend five billion hours a year playing with LEGO bricks.
With a production of about 306 million tires produced a year, the LEGO group is the largest producer of tires in the world.
LEGO is the contraction of two Danish words, “leg godt” which means “play well”.
More than 19 billion LEGO elements are produced every year. More than 2.16 million LEGO elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute.
It took 50 hours and 68,000 LEGO bricks to make the storybook in the LEGO Disney Princess at the shows.
The largest LEGO Model ever built is the life sized X-Wing fighter. It took more than 17000 hours to build over 5m bricks and 46000 pounds.
By 2020, LEGO’s aim is to make sure that 100% of its energy will be balanced by renewable energy sources.

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WIN TICKETS

Giveaway Details:

One of MY followers will win two tickets to the opening night session on Friday, Nov 4 2016 (4-8:30pm). I encourage you to LIKE and Follow LEGOKidsFest on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for all the latest ticketing updates as this event has been selling out in prior cities. Must be 18 to enter, 1 entry per day allowed, random drawing by USFG!

Winner will be randomly chosen by USFG on and announced on my Blog and notified via email,

ENTER HERE

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama onTwitter or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Want to REALLY know what my busy typing fingers have been working on lately? Visit my author page for oodles of short stories and all the latest info on the Heaven And Earth Series!

5 “Real Foods” That Are Ridiculously Easy

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I completely understand why people buy processed and pre-packaged foods.  I am a big fan of homemade pancakes, for example.  They aren’t hard to make, but you need to have several ingredients on hand to really do them well and there’s some measuring and mixing and so forth.  It’s not complicated, but it requires a minor amount of thought and, if you have to buy a 5 lb bag of flour, a pound of butter, a bag of sugar, etc it can be quite pricey. Or you can buy a box of mix for $2, add water and have pancakes.

I’m a LAZY hippie. I understand the appeal.

However, there are some foods that are just so ridiculously simple that you really have no reason to ever buy the crappy, chemical-laden, factory-made version again.

1) Hashbrowns

The idea for this post came to me a few weeks ago when Sweet Hippie Daughter and I decided we wanted hashbrowns at dinner-time.  Handsome Hippie Hubby is the hashbrown master at our house. I don’t know that I’ve ever made them.  He always starts with fresh potatoes. That seemed intimidating to me so I went in search of something fool-proof.

I knew that I had seen “real, fresh” shredded hashbrown potatoes near the dairy section of my grocery store so I went to check it out.  My thought: if it’s in a bag it must be simpler than doing it from scratch and if it’s in the refrigerator (not the freezer or from a box) it must be reasonably fresh.

I was wrong. The product you get is really just a bag of shredded potatoes that look exactly like what you get if you shred them yourselves.

Well… that’s what you appear to get.  What is actually in the bag is: Potatoes, dextrose, disodium phyrophoshate, potassium sorbate and sodium bisulfate.

grossed out by processed food

She’s trying to look grossed out but she couldn’t stop giggling at the fact that we were running around the grocery store taking photos of the food.

There aren’t even any spices or onions or… anything.

“I can make this!” I thought to myself.

So I did and they came out crispy and flavorful and generally fabulous.

Here’s how I did it:

Shred the potato, sprinkle the shreds in a pan with a nice coating of hot oil (I used coconut oil), salt it.

Wait for it…. don’t touch it!  Leave it alone. Wait…. Ok… it’s starting to hold together… the bottom seems crunchy (about 5-7 minutes)…. FLIP! Wait again (not as long-maybe 3-5 minutes). Remove from pan. Eat with great gusto.

Make extras. Toss them in the freezer. Next time you’ll just have to warm them up in the oven and you’re done.

Extra incentive:  The pre-shredded potatoes are about $3 OR, you can buy a 5 lb bag of organic potatoes for $3 and have hash browns for… oh… I don’t know…. a small army?  Eating organic isn’t always more expensive!

I wondered what else people were buying pre-packaged simply because they didn’t realize how incredibly easy it is to make it from scratch.  Three more products came immediately to mind.

2) Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese is something that I had only ever made out of a box.  You know… noodles + milk + butter + orange dust = lunch.

A Better Mac and Cheese:

My mother-in-law came over one time and, knowing I had a busy week at work, decided to give me a break by making lunch for the kids. She scrounged around and came up with a box of shells and a bag of shredded cheddar cheese.  She boiled the pasta, tossed the cheese in, added a tablespoon or so of butter and… voila! Macaroni + cheese = macaroni and cheese.

Honestly, it never even occurred to me to do such a thing.  It was simply outside of my experience. The kids ate it and licked the pot clean.  It was years ago and we still joke about Crazy Hippie Drummer exclaiming, “This macaroni and cheese is DELICIOUS!”

Yes, there are lots of recipes out there to fancy up your mac and cheese but nothing, not even the cheese dust stuff is faster and easier than this and it’s as ooey-gooey fabulous as you could ever hope for!  It is a little more expensive than the box version but it is also significantly more filling so you need less to feel full which helps offset the cost.

Plus, there’s this to consider:

Either way you get the macaroni noodles themselves which (unless you choose a whole wheat or veggie-based version) are pretty much the same.  With the homemade version the only other ingredients are cheese and butter.

With the box stuff you get: whey, milkfat, milk, protein concentrate, salt, calcium carbonate, sodium tripolyphosphate, citric acid, sodium phosphate, lactic acid, yellow #5, yellow #6, enzymes and cheese cultures.

processed mac and cheese

3) Lemonade

We love fresh lemonade in the summer!  It is so easy and refreshing.

 Here’s how we do it.

You just squeeze half a dozen or so lemons, add water (about 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of lemon juice) and sweeten to taste with honey or cane sugar.

If you’re feeling adventurous you can add a splash of cranberry or cherry juice, a sprig of mint or a bit of vodka. (Just seeing if you’re paying attention!)

If you don’t have fresh lemons, find the cost of them prohibitive, or (like I usually am) are just too lazy to juice them, you can use bottled lemon juice. True “real foodies” would argue that juice from concentrate isn’t really the same but I would say it’s far better than the powdered version which contains an astonishing FOURTEEN ingredients… NONE of which are lemon!

The ingredients in Country Time Lemonade are: sugar, fructose, citric acid, maltodextrin, natural flavor, asorbic acid, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium citrate, magnesium oxide, calcium fumarate, soy lecithin, artificial color, yellow #5, tocopherol.

powdered, processed lemonade mix

 

4) Popcorn

Popcorn is another one that will save you a bundle if you make it on your own.  For $3 you can buy a bag of organic popcorn that will keep a movie-loving family in snacks for a month or more!

Act II microwavable popcorn contains, in addition to popcorn, palm oil, salt, butter, natural flavors and colors, TBHQ and citric acid.  That may not sound as bad as some other foods but one of the “natural flavors” in microwave popcorn is a chemical called diacetyl that has been directly linked to a respiratory disease known as “popcorn lung.” Even though people are winning court cases over diacetyl, many manufactures still continue to use it.

You can make your own popcorn!

Put about a tablespoon of coconut oil (or other oil of your choice) in a medium size pan with a tight-fitting lid.  Drop 2-3 kernels of popcorn in.  When they pop, you’re good to go. Add the rest… enough to cover the bottom of the pan but no more than 1/4 inch deep or so or you’ll end up in popcorn up to your neck!

Put the lid on and shake the pan over the heat, to keep the kernels moving.  They will all be popped in a just a few minutes.

If you are in an office or dorm and must use a microwave, I have read, over at 100 Days of Real food, that you can very successfully pop popcorn by putting it, dry, into a brown paper bag, folding it over and tossing it in the microwave for 3 minutes.  No additional ingredients are needed!

5) Mashed Potatoes

The last food on my list is mashed potatoes which are even easier than the hash browns!

You could buy the Bob Evans’ version from your grocer’s deli but they are over $3 for a small tub and, in addition to potatoes, milk and butter, they include: margarine, hydrogenated soybean oil, water, salt, whey, soy lecithin, mono and diglycerides, sodium benzoate, artificial flavors, vitamin A palminate, potassium sorbate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, spices and artificial colors.

deli mashed potatoes

If you want to make them yourself, for a fraction of the cost, do it like this:

Wash potatoes. We usually use 1 medium potato per diner + “one for the pot.”  Cube them. Chuck them into water and boil them for 10 minutes or so, until they are tender.  Drain, mash, add a splash of milk (about a scant tablespoon per potato) and a few tablespoons of butter. Salt to taste.

You can peel them, if you want to make them “whiter” but the peels don’t have any negative effect on the flavor so I usually leave them on.  Add a bit of garlic, rosemary, chives or whatever other spices you like with potatoes. You can also use sour cream or Greek yogurt instead of milk, or even soy milk if you prefer.  They are hard to ruin.

So there you have it: Five foods you can switch to “natural” without breaking a sweat.  They will be so easy and delicious you’ll wonder why you ever ate the packaged stuff!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email, Facebook or Twitter to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

 

Corn Maze & Fall Festival Coupons and Deals

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I am so excited to have joined the blogging team at US Family Guide!

As a mom, and especially as a home-school mom, I am always looking for a good deal on a new, fun place to take the kids.  Now I will be able to share some great coupons and bargains with you, not just from my local area, but from all over the nation!

These days the season of Fall Festivals is beginning and US Family Guide has put together a great list of events.  If there is one near you, just click the link to get the coupon.  I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful time getting outdoors into the gorgeous fall sunshine with the whole family!

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Arizona
Schnepf Farms – Queen City
Tolmachoff Farms– Glendale, AZ

California
Forneris Farms – Mission Hills

Colorado
Anderson Farms – Erie
Flat Acres Farm – Parker
Fritzler Maze – La Salle
Sunflower Farm – Longmont
Mile High Farms – Bennett
Wishing Star Farm – Calhan
Harvest Farm – Wellington

Texas
Devine Acres Farm – Devine
Fiesta Farm – San Antonio
Yesterland Farm – Canton
South Texas Maize – Hondo
Dewberry Farm – Brookshire
Brazos Valley Maize– Brenham

Louisiana
CM Farms – Dry Creek

Florida

Harvestmoon Farm– Masaryktown FL

Georgia
Lane Southern Orchards – Fort Valley
Poppell Farms – Odum

Michigan
Farmer Charley’s Corn Maze Adventure – Monroe

Indiana
Amazing Fall Fun – Waterloo
Harvest Tyme Pumpkin Patch – Lowell
Hobson’s Fun Farm – Rockville
Guffey Acres– Kokomo

Illinois
All Seasons Orchard – Woodstock
Kuipers Family Farm – Maple Park
Odyssey Fun Farm – Tinley Park
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm – Lockport

Maryland/DC
Summers Farm – Fredrick County

Massachusetts
Sauchuk Farm – Plympton

Missouri/Kansas

KC Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze – Gardner
Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch – Pleasant Hill

Mississippi
Seward Farms Maze – Lucedale

Minnesota
Afton Apple Orchard – Hastings

Montana
The Maize at Grandpa’s Farm – Billings

Nebraska
Camp Fontanelle – Nickerson

NewJersey
VonThun Farms – Monmouth Junction
Sahl’s Father Son Farm – Egg Harbor City

New York
Wright Family Farm – Warwick
Harbes Family Farm – Mattituck

North Carolina
Patterson Farm Market and Tours – Mount Ulla

Ohio
The Corn Maze at the Sharp Run Market – Millersburg
Meadow View Growers – New Carlisle
Oregon
The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch– Portland

Pennsylvania
Hurricane Hill Farm – Coatsville
Triple B Farms – Pittsburgh
Reillys Summer Seat Farm
 – Pittsburgh
Rhode Island
Confreda Greenhouses & Farms – Hope (Western Cranston)

Virginia
Cows-N-Corn – Midland
Wayside Farm Fun – Berryville
Belvedere Plantation – Fredericksburg

Utah
Cornbelly’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest – Spanish Fork
For Daily Updates on these coupons and coupons for other family attractions please visit and bookmark:http://www.usfamilycoupons.com 

*Please note this is a sponsored post. My family will have the opportunity to visit some of these venues free of charge to us and report back to you about how awesome they are!

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Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!  

Did You Lose Your Rule Book At Walmart?

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A picture of the book

A picture of the book

Some dear heart put a great deal of work into creating  an amazing little book full of some surprisingly profound rules:

Remember to say excuse me.

Organize your time well.

Put up a fuss when the situation warrants it.

Recycle

Love well

Don’t keep saying “please” after your mom says no.

And on and on it goes. There are 157 life rules in all, with #158 started, but not finished.

A Walmart employee in Citrus Heights, CA found the book lying in the parking lot and saved it.  Now he’s hoping to get the word out so he can return this special book to the (most likely very young) author.

For more of the great rules, including “don’t color on people” and “no elbows on the table” or to claim the book if it’s yours click here to go to the original story.

 

UPDATE! The authors have been found.  Hooray! Click here for the follow-up.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!