Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

#5 Fun Things to Do with Your Family This Weekend August 1, 2008

Pop Stars!

Sure, we’ve all concocted our own popsicle from one liquid or another, but have you ever designed your own mold? Challenge your kids this weekend to create wild and wacky popsicle shapes to beat the heat by making good old-fashioned homemade popsicles.

It’s fun and there is a delicious pay-off at the end for all your hard work. Making your own popsicles is also a great way to use items from the recycling bin, and even demonstrates lessons in both volume and physics. This terrific project for families was donated by the nice people at Craft magazine

Treats and More Treats!

Raw Chocolate Brownies with Icing
A brownie can truly be a nutritious snack—This recipe is simply a must-do for kids. The best part of this no-cook recipe is that any kid who is old enough to press the button on the food processor or blender can make ’em.

Made without sugar, these raw chocolate brownies have only “good” fats, are low-glycemic, gluten-free, flourless and vegan. Need more motivation to make brownies with your kids? This recipe is also exceptionally high in antioxidants, an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and contain a full complement of vitamins, including E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and folic acid. It also contains a wealth of minerals, such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. (Nibble one on your way into work one morning! It’s good for you!)

Still not convinced? The icing (made using avocados!) is to die for!! One taste and you will never look at an avocado the same way again. (For more great recipes like this, please visit my other blog, Unassuming Foodie.)

Future Environmentalists Club

The great outdoors just got “greener”. Northern California’s gorgeous Mount Lassen and Lake Shasta areas beckon young and old(er) nature lovers to visit. For discounted “soft opening” rates, stay at Gaia Anderson Hotel & Spa, a cutting-edge, eco-operational hotel offering guests the ultimate experience of harmony with nature. GAIA Anderson received the highest LEED certification in the hospitality Industry in the United States; Every material used in the building is recycled, or from a sustainable source.

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure: Send kids on the hunt for surprising uses of recycled tires (hint: check out the pens and do-not-disturb signs!) and have them guess what keeps the pool so clean (it isn’t chlorine!). Turn off all the lights and notice how bright the rooms are—the hotel uses a combination of solar panels and super-cool Solatubes to help sunlight travel throughout the interior. Want the facts? The lobby displays monitors reporting real-time consumption of electricity, water and CO2 emissions. Compare before-and-after numbers during your stay to open a conversation about your family’s carbon footprint.

Family Deals and Contests

Enter $10,000 Smiles of Summer Contest! Win a Vacation Trip,
New Digital Cameras and a Deluxe SmileBook

Showcase your smiling child this year in the Smiles of Summer Contest, courtesy of SmileBooks, the easy, fun way to create and share beautifully bound, personalized photo books. Running now through August 29th, SmileBooks is looking for funny photos from vacations, birthdays, holidays—your imagination is the limit!

  • The top photo submission will win a $1,500 travel gift certificate, a new digital camera, plus a $100 SmileBook gift certificate.
  • Ten second place winners will receive a new digital camera and $100 SmileBook gift certificate.
  • Twenty third place winners will receive a $100 SmileBook gift certificate.
  • Additionally, one hundred runners-up will have the opportunity to create a SmileBook of their own, valued at $50.

Winners notified on September 8. Additional entry details, rules and regulations can be found at

If you like what you read here and would like to support me in a small but meaningful way, please visit my Amazon store, Motherhood Must-Haves. I also invite you to submit your family’s fun weekend activities—The best ones will be featured here!
Looking for more weekend ideas? Click here for Fun Things To Do archived entries.

2 Responses to “#5 Fun Things to Do with Your Family This Weekend”

  1. smiley Says:

    I entered Smilebooks photo contest, I hope I win!

  2. rjlacko Says:

    > Good luck to you!
    If you win, please comment with a copy of your photo submission–I’d love to see it!
    If you’re feeling lucky, please throw your hat in the ring for some cool things I’m giving away on my blog: a free Sesame Street mousepad:
    and a copy of Rebeca Seitz’s new book “Coming Unglued” at

    Keep watching! Soon I’ll be offering a fabulous art supplies package!

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